HC Deb 14 April 1976 vol 909 c1368
15. Mr. MacCormick

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what representations he has received concerning the future provision of hospital facilities in Argyll.

Mr. McElhone


Mr. MacCormick

I thank the Minister for his reply. Does he appreciate the great depth of feeling on this subject, not only in Argyll but all over rural Scotland? Does he further appreciate that he could greatly alleviate the feelings of people in the rural areas by assuring them that there will be no undue centralisation of hospital facilities?

Mr. McElhone

I am in touch with the position in Argyll and Clyde. It is in the first place for the board to submit recommendations in the light of the local com-sultations which are taking place. Any proposals by the board for a change in hospital services must have the approval of my right hon. Friend.

Mr. Welsh

Will the Minister say whether his policy is a centralist or decentralist one? Will he do his utmost where possible to bring hospital services to the people rather than vice versa? Will he bear in mind especially the situation at Arbroath Infirmary?

Mr. McElhone

Hospital services are not a matter of dogma, and the hon. Gentleman is pre-empting his later Question.

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