HC Deb 10 November 1971 vol 825 c978
1. Mr. Carmichael

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland, in view of the fact that certain patients requiring a heart operation must travel to London because of lack of facilities in Scotland, if he will take action to remedy this situation.

The Under-Secretary of State for Health and Education, Scottish Office (Mr. Hector Monro)

In any developing specialty it is inevitable that some very specialised techniques will be available only in a few centres.

In general, I have no reason to believe that the resources available for cardiac surgery in Scotland are inadequate.

If the hon. Gentleman has any problem cases in mind, perhaps he will send me details.

Mr. Carmichael

Can the Under-Secretary of State assure me that it is only in highly specialised cases that people have to be moved south for operations? Is he aware that in an area where the incidence of cardiac trouble is very high there is a feeling of resentment that we are not able to handle all these cases in our own hospitals in Scotland?

Mr. Monro

I appreciate the hon. Gentleman's concern, but I know that he will keep the matter in perspective. At the moment, some 15 or 20 cases have to go to London, but for very special cardiac surgery which may not be available in Scotland there is to be an upgrading of the Glasgow Royal Infirmary cardiac surgery unit next year, so that the position will improve in due course.

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