HC Deb 05 April 1967 vol 744 cc229-30
28. Mr. Eadie

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what progress is being made in the development of health centres in Scotland.

Mr. Millan

There are four health centres already in operation. Two others, at Cumbernauld and Langholm, are under construction and will be opened later this year; and the building of the first health centre in Livingston will begin shortly. The planning of several other health centres has reached an advanced stage, and in total more than 50 projects are at present under consideration.

Mr. Eadie

Is my hon. Friend aware that this probably is the best piece of news which the House has had for a considerable time and that many hon. Members on this side of the House have campaigned for many years for the introduction of health centres?

Mr. Millan

I am glad to hear that. My hon. Friend will be equally glad to know that the general practitioners in Scotland are very anxious to press ahead with proposals for health centres and we want to encourage them as much as we can within the necessary limitations of finance, the financial provisions for which have now been very considerably increased.

Mr. David Steel

Can the hon. Gentleman prod the regional hospital boards into speedy action, because I know of one instance where medical practitioners went ahead and had a separate health centre, which is undesirable?

Mr. Millan

If the hon. Gentleman will give details of that, I will look into it. This is a tripartite matter involving hospital boards, general practitioners and local authorities.

Mr. Steele

In view of the redevelopment of the town centre of Dumbarton and the desire of the town council to get on with its health centre, can my hon. Friend say whether there is any hope of that health centre being improved shortly?

Mr. Millan

I have been in communication with my hon. Friend about the Dumbarton project, but it has not yet a firm place in the programme. I will write to my hon. Friend about that.