HC Deb 14 December 1970 vol 808 cc933-4
18. Mr. Roderick

asked the Secretary of State for Wales what is his policy on the recommendation of the Welsh Hospital Board that there should be no private pay-beds at the new University Hospital of Wales.

Mr. Gibson-Watt

It is for the Welsh Hospital Board to recommend to my right hon. and learned Friend the extent to which it thinks accommodation and services should be made available at hospitals in Wales for private patients. It has made no recommendations to him for such facilities at the University Hospital for Wales.

Mr. Roderick

The Minister must be aware of the fact that medical need should be the criterion for treatment in such hospitals, and that the existence of pay-beds naturally means a longer wait for those with greater need. I understand that the Welsh Hospital Board is recommending that there should be no such pay-beds in the University Hospital of Wales. Will he agree with that decision, because it will be welcomed in Wales?

Mr. Gibson-Watt

As I said, this is a matter for the Welsh Hospital Board and I see no reason to intervene.

Mr. Gower

Subject to what has been said about the question of medical need, would my hon. Friend consider one possibility? Could there not be some advantages to the National Health Service if it were not deprived of this money, and if some of it were saved for the Health Service, rather than all being spent in private nursing homes?

Mr. Gibson-Watt

Of course, this is a complicated business, but I would point out to my hon. Friend that there are at present five pay-bed hospitals administered by the Welsh Hospital Board and during the year ended 30th June, 1970, no use was made by private patients of two beds at Sully and Whitchurch Hospitals, but I will look into the matter further.

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