HC Deb 15 March 1972 vol 833 cc525-6
19. Mr. Adam Hunter

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what are his up-to-date plans for the provision of a new general hospital for Dunfermline and West Fife; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Monro

A proposal by the South-Eastern Regional Hospital Board for the provision of a new district general hospital for West Fife is being considered along with other schemes proposed by all regional hospital boards in connection with an extension of the major hospital building programmes. I expect to make an announcement this spring.

Mr. Hunter

I thank the Minister for that reply. Does he recall his visit to Dunfermline Hospital last year when he was impressed by the efficiency of the medical and nursing staff under the difficult physical conditions under which they were operating? I hope that the proposal in his reply will be included in the programme for after 1971–72.

Mr. Monro

I am grateful for what the hon. Gentleman has said. I was impressed by the staff and I appreciate the conditions in which they are working. I would not want the hon. Gentleman to take from what I have said that there is a firm commitment—far from it. We have to consider all the proposals together.

Mr. William Hamilton

Does the hon. Gentleman recognise that this part of Scotland has probably been harder hit by pit closures and the economic revolution which has taken place in the last 10 or 20 years than has probably any other part of the country? Therefore, does he not regard it as imperative, in view of the present deplorable circumstances in the West Fife Hospital, that that hospital should be given a higher place on the priority list of hospital building?

Mr. Monro

I appreciate what the hon. Gentleman said about pit closures, but if he will wait for a matter of weeks we shall be able to announce the new programme and we shall be able to see whether West Fife is successful.

Forward to