§ 41. Mr. Pavitt
asked the Minister of Health if, in view of delays, he will seek information on the intervals between consultations and the date of admission to hospitals in cases of haemorrhoidectomy; to what extent these consultations are arranged privately or at a hospital, respectively; and what is the difference in the delay in both categories of case.
§ Mr. Powell
Sample figures obtained in 1958 showed that 16 per cent. of admissions for haemorrhoidectomy were immediate, and that over 85 per cent. were within six months. The types of consultation are not separately distinguished.
§ Mr. Pavitt
Does not the Minister think that it would be desirable to find what happens about the 85 per cent., because there is a widespread belief that, if a patient pays his consultant a fee, he can minimise the six months? Would it not be advantageous if the public could be told what the exact position is, by these figures being obtained and published?
§ Mr. Powell
I do not think that it is desirable to distinguish hospital admissions in the categories which the hon. Gentleman suggests. Indeed, that would have the apposite effect to that which both he and I want. If there is any evidence at all of undue preference, I shall be delighted to look into it.