HC Deb 14 April 1920 vol 127 cc1664-5
19. Mr. LYLE

asked the Minister of Health whether he has given his consent to the establishment of a municipal hospital at Bradford; if so, for what special reason and on what conditions; whether this consent will be extended to other local authorities putting forward similar proposals; whether this step agrees with his policy as enunciated on 26th February, 1919, in this House, and elsewhere at other times; whether he is now in a position to make a statement on the policy of his Department in respect to voluntary hospitals; and whether, before sanctioning further hospitals supported out of public funds, he will consider the position of voluntary hospitals, which have for years done invaluable public work, which are now hard pressed for funds to continue their efforts, and which are bound to be most prejudicially affected by competition on the part of organisations which will never experience financial stress in respect either of upkeep, maintenance, or administration.


I have sanctioned a scheme supported by all parties on the Bradford Council for the establishment of a municipal hospital, which appeared to me the only practicable method of providing the institutional accommodation necessary to meet the needs of the city. I see nothing in this decision inconsistent with the statement to which the hon. Members refers. As regards the last part of the question, I fully appreciate the value of the work done by the voluntary hospitals, and I am aware of the difficulties under which they are now labouring; but I am not yet in a position to make any definite statement.


Does this mean that every other borough and town will be enabled to set up hospitals if it applies in the same way?


Pending further legislation which we are now preparing, I have to consider cases on their merits as they arise. This is the only way of meeting the necessities of this case that I decided as I did.