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Health Issues (Glasgow)

Volume 264: debated on Wednesday 18 October 1995

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To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what plans he has to meet the Greater Glasgow health board to discuss health issues in Glasgow; and if he will make a statement. [36043]

I met Greater Glasgow health board most recently on 3 October to discuss its plans to further improve health care for the people of Glasgow.

Will the Minister confirm that at that meeting the board put to him the proposal to close Rutherglen maternity hospital? If it did, and if he is now considering the proposal, will he bear in mind that this is one of the safest, most efficient and most modern maternity units in the greater Glasgow health board area? Does he agree that it would be ludicrous to close such a facility and replace it with another unit costing between £13 million and £15 million?

The health board has not put any plans for Rutherglen maternity hospital to Ministers. I understand that it has carried out a thorough review of the organisation of maternity services, and has consulted publicly. It stressed the importance of integrating maternity care with the full range of support facilities available in general hospitals.

I am fully aware of the strength of local support, and of the fact that the Government have provided some £612 million for health care for Glasgow's residents this year.