HC Deb 24 June 1953 vol 516 cc1902-3
44. Mr. Awbery

asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies if he is aware that 14,000 confinements take place on an average annually at the Kandang Kerbau Women's Hospital, Singapore; that it has no residential quarters for house surgeons or registrars, and no living-in quarters for students doing their obstetric cases; that the proposed improvements are inadequate to meet the needs of the indigenous population; and if he will take steps to speed up extensions to living quarters, theatres, ward and sanitary accommodation.

Mr. Lyttelton

I am well aware how much the staff of this hospital have achieved despite inadequate accommodation and facilities. Improvements covering all the items mentioned have already been started and I see no reason to intervene.

Mr. Awbery

Is the Minister aware that consideration was given in 1948 to improvements in this hospital; that nothing had been done since then, until recently; and that all that is to be done now is to increase the accommodation by 500 beds, when 3500 are needed? Is he aware that in a hospital in London, where 3,000 operations are carried out, they have two theatres, whereas in this hospital, where 14,000 operations are carried out, there is only one theatre? Will he do something to hurry the provision of the necessary accommodation?

Mr. Lyttelton

Yes. I have already said that I am not responsible for what happened in 1948 or for delays which occurred at that time. All these matters are now in hand.