§ Mr. Hale
Is my hon. Friend aware that this is an appalling situation? I have cases of men who cannot go to work for months because they are awaiting operative treatment. This is a grave waste. Is my hon. Friend further aware that for admissions to gynaecological wards people are having to wait two years for gynaecological operations? Will he now look at the whole question of the Manchester Regional Hospital Board and of the constitution of the Oldham Hospital Committee and at the evidence which I have submitted of political discrimination and try to restore our health service to Oldham?
§ Sir B. Stross
I am sure that my hon. Friend is right. The situation is not satisfactory. Gynaecological cases have been increasing, but there is some reason for this. Some help may come quite soon. The operating wards are old and unsatisfactory and there has been illness among the medical staff. New theatres will be made available, I think in May next year, and that should help the position very considerably.
§ Mr. Will Griffiths
We all fully understand that my hon. Friend has been in his Department for only a very short time, but, when he is looking at these waiting lists, will he bear in mind that the queues are still being jumped by people who are prepared to pay for a private room and the private fees of the surgeon? Only this morning I received a letter from a constituent who tells me that his deaf wife, who is awaiting an operation on her ears, which is vital to the welfare of the family, has been offered treatment if she can find £100? Will my hon. Friend look into this matter as one of great urgency?
§ Sir B. Stross
This is an allegation which has been heard in the House on many occasions before. I should be greatly obliged if my hon. Friend would send me particulars of that case. I am sure that my right hon. Friend and I would be glad to take action on matters of that type.