§ 38. Mr. Burden
asked the Minister of Health when the reconstruction of the old Royal Naval Hospital, Chatham, now known as the Medway Hospital, will be completed.
§ The Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Health (Sir Barnett Stross)
The first phase is nearing completion: the second phase is expected to start in the current quinquennium. I cannot as yet forecast beyond this.
§ Mr. Burden
Is not the hon. Gentleman aware that this hospital is very urgently needed in the Medway Towns? Because of the population explosion, there is a great shortage of beds. Will the hon. Gentleman please look into this and treat it as a matter of urgency, and try to give a more approximate date of completion than he has so far been able to give?
§ Sir B. Stross
I am sure that there is some truth in what the hon. Gentleman said. January of next year will see the opening of the first phase of 100 beds, and an operating theatre and supporting facilities. I hope that work on the second phase will start within the next two years. The third phase is a very much longer-term programme.
§ Mr. Burden
In view of the unsatisfactory nature of that reply, I beg to give notice that I shall raise this matter on the Adjournment at the earliest possible opportunity.