HC Deb 22 July 1964 vol 699 cc475-6
31. Mr. Gourlay

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland the number of women awaiting appointments with the consultant gynaecologist at Victoria Hospital, Kirkcaldy, the length of time the most outstanding cases have been waiting, and the number of women patients awaiting admission for operations.

Mr. Stodart

One hundred and fifty-one women have appointments booked or are awaiting appointments with the consultant gynaecologist at the Victoria Hospital, Kirkcaldy; the longest period patients have been waiting is three months; and the number of women awaiting admission for operation is 263. All patients requiring urgent treatment are, of course, given priority.

Mr. Gourlay

Does not the Minister consider that these figures reflect a very serious situation in the Kirkcaldy area? Is he further aware that there is only one consultant gynaecologist in the hospital and that while he was on holiday, no out-patient clinics were held at the hospital? Will the Under-Secretary, therefore, take steps to ensure that the regional board has sufficient finance to enable an additional consultant to be appointed to the Victoria Hospital and thus reduce this enormous waiting list?

Mr. Stodart

It is the opinion of the South-East of Scotland Regional Hospital Board that it would not be of all that practical use to appoint an extra consultant at this hospital until more in-patient beds are provided, which will be the case next year when the second phase of the hospital will be completed.

Mr. W. Hamilton

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that a case has come to my notice this week that a woman patient in London can get this kind of appointment within a week? This shows a great difference between the situation in Scotland, and particularly in Fife, and the South-East. That is one of the reasons why we are in the difficulties which we are facing in Scotland vis-á-vis economic development as compared with the South-East. Will the hon. Gentleman take note of the representations of my hon. Friend and speed up the increased provision in this and in other fields?

Mr. Stodart

I certainly undertake to do all I can in this field.