HC Deb 01 August 1951 vol 491 c1425
6. Mr. Awbery

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies what part of the programme of the Medical Plan of Singapore was carried out in 1948, 1949 and 1950, and what is scheduled for 1951; and to what extent it is the intention of the Government of Singapore to expand the Kerbau Maternity Hospital and establish clinics in the rural areas.

Mr. J. Griffiths

During 1948 and 1949, 205,000 dollars and 126,000 dollars, respectively, were spent on improving hospital facilities. The formal Medical Plan began in 1950, when 278,000 dollars was spent. Projected expenditure this year is 1,456,000 dollars. The plan provides for doubling the facilities at the Kerbau hospital, and for 16 new permanent maternity and child welfare clinics. Thirty-eight clinics already exist.

Mr. Awbery

Is the Secretary of State aware that the Director of Medical Services has stated that the medical need in Singapore and Malaya is desperate; that there is a great need for nurses and for training schools; that there is a dearth of clinics, particularly in the rural areas; and does he not think that the provision of these would do more to retard the progress of Communism than the use of arms?

Mr. Griffiths

I am deeply conscious of the need for extending the social services in Singapore, and both I and the local government will do everything we possibly can to speed up the development of these essential services.