HC Deb 01 March 1938 vol 332 cc889-90
4. Mr. Kennedy

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland whether his attention has been drawn to the increasing financial difficulties and debts of Scottish infirmaries and hospitals, showing that the system of voluntary contributions is no longer sufficient to meet the growing pressure of work in those institutions; and whether he is contemplating action on the lines of the report of the Committee on Health Services, published in 1936, with an increased measure of State aid?

Mr. Elliot

In reply to the first part of the question, I am aware that some of the voluntary hospitals have financial difficulties, but there is, I believe, no evidence that the voluntary system as a whole is unable to meet its commitments. As to the second part of the question, the many important and difficult problems involved are being carefully examined, but I am not in a position to make a statement.

12. Mr. Gallacher

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland whether he has considered the request for financial assistance for the hospital in Buckhaven, Fife; and whether, in view of the difficulty of adequately maintaining this hospital, he will take steps to assist in its maintenance?

Mr. Elliot

No request for financial assistance from the Buckhaven Hospital has yet reached me. There is, however, I fear, no provision under which I could give assistance towards its maintenance.

Mr. Gallacher

In view of the fact that subscriptions are made by the workers in order to keep the hospital going, if a request comes will not the right hon. Gentleman consider whether there are some ways and means of providing assistance to the hospital, or of recommending the local authority to take it over, with the promise of some State assistance?

Mr. Elliot

I cannot give any undertaking as far as legislation is concerned. I do not know of any provision under which I could give assistance.