To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many patients in each regional health authority have been (a) transferred to a private hospital or other private medical centre and (b) transferred to have medical treatment abroad as a result of staff shortages following the deployment of medical staff to Iraq; and what estimate he has made of the cost to the health service of these transfers. 
Information on the number of patients who have been treated in private hospitals or abroad rather than in National Health Service facilities as a result of staff shortages following the deployment of medical staff to Iraq has not been collected.The main impact has been at the five Ministry of Defence hospital units (MDHUs) and the Royal Centre for Defence Medicine at the University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Trust. All these have lost significant numbers of regular service medical and nursing personnel to the conflict in the Gulf. The five MDHUs are based at the following NHS trusts:
- Peterborough Hospitals
- South Tees Hospitals
- Plymouth Hospitals
- Portsmouth Hospitals
- Frimley Park Hospital
We have provided so far about 18 million to these hospitals to help offset the impact of deployments and maintain NHS work. As far as we are aware, no patients have been sent abroad as a result of reduced staffing because of conflict in the Gulf.
Of this 18 million, five million is being used to pay for an overseas orthopaedic team to be based at Portsmouth Hospitals to treat about 1000 patients at Portsmouth, Frimley Park and Plymouth Hospitals.