HC Deb 13 February 1967 vol 741 cc71-2
23. Mr. Gwilym Roberts

asked the Minister of Health if he will give estimates of the number of kidney machines required and the number available; and what steps he is taking to increase the supply.

Mr. K. Robinson

The number required will depend on the rate of progress in establishing treatment centres; treatment in hospital is not at present held up by shortage of machines, the number of which currently in operation is not centrally known. With regard to the last part of the Question, I would refer my hon. Friend to my reply to the hon. Member for Dorking (Sir G. Sinclair) on 26th January, 1967.—[Vol. 739, c. 349–50.]

Mr. Roberts

Would not my right hon. Friend the Minister agree, however, that the shortage of machines and trained personnel is a direct result of the wrongful deployment of national resources by the party opposite for 13 years? Would he further agree that our great national problem is not a shortage of resources but their redeployment from purposes of mass armaments to scientific medical advancement?

Mr. Robinson

Tempted as I am to agree with my hon. Friend on the first part of his supplementary question, I think that in fairness I should point out that it is less than two years since the use of kidney machines for the treatment of chronic renal failure has emerged from the research stage.

Miss Pike

Would the right hon. Gentleman agree that this is the result of our having the right priorities and doing things in the right way?

Mr. Robinson

I do not think that, in this particular connection, follows from the last remark I made.