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Hospital Waiting Lists

Volume 229: debated on Thursday 22 July 1993

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To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what plans he has to introduce measures enabling patients awaiting hospital treatment to transfer from hospitals with longer waiting lists for that particular treatment, to hospitals with shorter waiting lists.

General practitioners already have the ability to refer patients to hospitals, or consultants, with the shortest waiting lists. The waiting times information service and Health Line Wales have been established to provide patients and GPs with accurate and up-to-date information on waiting times.The decision to refer a patient to a particular hospital or consultant depends upon many factors, however. These include not only the length of the waiting list but also the suitability of the treatment available and the patient's own wishes. Where appropriate, I hope that general practitioners will seek to pursue the shortest waiting lists for their patients.