HC Deb 05 April 1967 vol 744 cc232-3
32. Mr. Bence

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what was the level of expenditure on hospital building in Scotland over the past three years; and at what rate he estimates that this expenditure will rise over the next few years.

Mr. Millan

Expenditure on hospital building, including equipment fees, etc., in Scotland was £8.5 million in 1964–65 and £9.7 million in 1965–66. On present forecasts expenditure will be about £11.6 million in the current financial year; £12.4 million in 1967–68; and I hope over £13 million annually in 1968–69, 1969–70 and 1970–71.

Mr. Bence

Is my hon. Friend aware that for the past 10 years there has been considerable dissatisfaction in the Scottish hospital services at the failure of previous Governments to satisfy the needs of hospitals? Is he satisfied that this tremendously increased figure will overcome the deficiences of the Conservative Administration in providing extra hospital facilities?

Mr. Millan

I do not know that it will overcome them by 1970, but this figure represents a very considerable increase and I hope that it will enable us to make up some of the lost ground.

Mr. Wolrige-Gordon

Is the Under-Secretary aware that we all hope that the Government will be able to afford this money in the next few years? Is he also aware that one of the best ways of incurring increased expenditure on hospital building is to close small but otherwise perfectly adequate and efficient units?

Mr. Millan

I think that we discussed the hospital the hon. Gentleman has in mind in an Adjournment debate. I have nothing to add to what I then said about Ellon Hospital.

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