HC Deb 11 November 1970 vol 806 cc369-70
14. Mr. Dempsey

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will now give a definite date for the start of the new general hospital in Airdrie, due to start in early 1971; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Edward Taylor

The Western Regional Hospital Board hopes to start the construction of the new Airdrie District General Hospital as early as practicable in 1971. My right hon. Friend's Department is now examining the board's proposals for the final cost limit. This is a necessary preliminary to the invitation of tenders, and for this reason I am unable at the moment to give a more definite date for the start.

Mr. Dempsey

As most hospitals have been described by competent medical authorities as being half a century out of date, will the Minister realise that this is a very urgent project? Will he do his utmost to prevail upon those responsible to live up to the programme already decided upon and to have the hospital commenced in April of next year?

Mr. Taylor

It was only on 26th October that the board submitted to my De- partment its proposals of the overall costs. I assure the hon. Gentleman that there will be no unnecessary delay at our end.