I am today announcing a £165 million investment programme in new equipment for the diagnosis and treatment of cancer. As a result, all computed tomography (CT) scanners, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanners and linear accelerators introduced before 1996 will be replaced with new modern equipment. This will give the National Health Service in England a stock of diagnostic scanners as modern as any country in Europe. I am also announcing today the allocation of 38 CT and 43 MRI scanners. A list of the NHS Trusts in receipt of these has been placed in the Library.I have also today placed in the Library copies of a letter from the National Cancer Director and a report on investment in cancer services in 2001–02 and 2002–03.The report shows that while there was a shortfall in cancer investment in 2001–02, this was corrected in 2002–03 in line with the commitments set out in the Cancer Plan. Planned local investment in cancer alongside central budgets for 2003–04 will mean that the NHS will invest more than the £570 million provided in the Cancer Plan.
The Secretary of State for Health
(Mr. Alan Milburn)