HC Deb 20 June 1966 vol 730 cc24-5
41. Mr. Pavitt

asked the Minister of Health if he has received reports from all regional hospital boards on the review of pay beds requested in Circular, H.M.(66)26; and how many beds are proposed for transfer from section 5 arrangements.

The Minister of Health (Mr. Kenneth Robinson)

No. Sir; those received are being considered, but I have as yet taken no decisions on them.

Mr. Pavitt

Whilst it is only 20 days since my right hon. Friend called for these reports, will he exert pressure to get either an interim result or a report by the Summer Recess?

Mr. Robinson

I have sent a reminder to all boards which have not yet sent their reports.

Mr. Frederic Harris

Why does the Minister encourage the view expressed by his back benchers that it is almost a crime to have these pay beds? Has he not given away enough in free prescriptions already?

Mr. Robinson

The only stricture that I thought was implicit in my hon. Friend's supplementary question was the delay in submitting reports by the time they had been asked for.

Mr. Dean

Does the Minister recognise that an increasing number of people of modest incomes are insuring themselves for hospital treatment? Will he give an assurance that he has no intention of penalising these people in our hospitals?

Mr. Robinson

I should like to await the information for which I have asked the regional boards before making any further policy statement on this matter.