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Cross-border Health Issues

Volume 451: debated on Tuesday 7 November 2006

My right hon. Friend regularly meets the First Minister to discuss a range of issues. Cross-border health issues are, however, primarily a matter for bilateral discussions between the Department of Health and the Scottish Executive.

I am rather disappointed with the Minister’s response. I would have thought that, with hospitals closing, nurses being sacked and thousands of people waiting longer than six months for NHS operations, health matters were a priority rather than something that is only slightly discussed.

I have a long list of statistics in front of me, which I shall not trouble the House by reading out, showing that there are more nurses, more doctors and more health workers in the hon. Gentleman’s constituency. They also show how the number of patients on waiting lists, which under the Conservatives ran into the thousands, are now only a few dozen. There are 300,000 more people working in the NHS today. The hon. Gentleman’s party voted against every single penny piece of that investment, so it ill becomes Conservative Members to come to the House demanding more spending on the NHS, education and crime at the same time as going outside and promising £20 billion worth of tax cuts. That did not wash at the last election and it will not wash at the next one either.