HC Deb 29 July 1964 vol 699 cc1406-7
14. Mr. Gourlay

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will state the number of persons on the waiting list for general surgical operations at Victoria Hospital, Kirkcaldy, and the length of time the most outstanding case or cases have been waiting.

Mr. Noble

Five hundred and twenty, Sir. The waiting list for males extends back to May, 1963, and for females to March, 1961. All patients requiring urgent treatment are, of course, given priority.

Mr. Gourlay

Is the Minister aware of the human suffering which lies behind those figures? Is he further aware that about 15 urgent surgical cases are admitted to Victoria Hospital every month, thus lengthening the waiting time of persons on the waiting lists for operations? Is he further aware that when the second extension to Victoria Hospital is completed it will by no stretch of the imagination meet the needs of the area? Will he, therefore, reconsider the possibility of a third extension to the hospital and, in the meantime, ensure that the orthopædic hospital in Kirkcaldy is kept in use for post-operative patients?

Mr. Noble

I agree with the hon. Member that there is inevitably some human suffering or discomfort in this matter. Urgent cases are dealt with, as I said. The best thing that we can do is to get ahead as quickly as we can with the extension of Victoria Hospital. I think that my hon. Friend the Under-Secretary of State gave him an answer about the orthopædic hospital last week. The hon. Member asks about a third extension. I think that the regional hospital board will take note of what he said and perhaps will discuss it with my Department.

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