§ 11. Mr. P. Wells
asked the Minister of Health the average waiting period for entry to the Kent and Canterbury Hospital of patients needing an operation.
§ Mr. R. Thompson
The average varies according to specialties, and for cases other than emergencies ranges from an average of four weeks for gynaecology to 59 weeks for orthopaedic surgery.
§ Mr. Wells
Is the hon. Gentleman aware that a consultant of this hospital recently stated that the hospital was in a state of chaos, that patients were scattered all over the top floor, that one woman had been moved twice in 48 hours and died, and that a patient making application now for admission would have to wait until May or June before having any hope of admission; is he further aware that the chairman of the group hospital board recently stated that no improvements would be made until four or five years had elapsed? Cannot the hon. Gentleman give a more hopeful answer than that?
§ Mr. Thompson
I am aware of the report to which the hon. Gentleman referred, but I am bound to say that the figures for this hospital relating to patients on the waiting list—of course, not to emergency cases—do not, taken as a whole, compare unfavourably with others in the region.