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Private Patients (Bad Debts)

Volume 176: debated on Wednesday 18 July 1990

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To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will give, for each district health authority, regional health authority and special health authority, the amount written off in respect of bad debts from (a) private in-patients and (b) private out-patients for the latest available year.

[holding answer 14 June 1990]: The information requested derived from the 1988–89 annual accounts—the latest available—of regional and district health authorities in England together with those of the special health authorities for the London postgraduate teaching hospitals has been placed in the Library. Sums written off in a particular financial year may include amounts due from earlier years.We expect health authorities to take all reasonable action to collect their debts. For 1988–89 the total sums written off in respect of private patient debts—£575,819 in-patients and £157,206 out-patients—represented approximately 1 per cent. of the equivalent income figures —£62,422,151 and £14,473,125 net of sums written off— for that year and which represented a valuable resource for the health authorities concerned.