HC Deb 12 December 1983 vol 50 cc666-7
16. Mr. Ray Powell

asked the Secretary of State for Wales if he will make a statement about the Health Service resources for Wales planned for the period 1983–84 to 1993–94, indicating reductions or increases.

Mr. Wyn Roberts

In 1983–84 expenditure on the National Health Service in Wales is expected to be at the record high of £790 million, of which almost £543 million is the expected revenue spending of district health authorities. Purely for planning purposes, we have issued a resource assumption for hospital and community health services that there will be 0.5 per cent. per annum growth in the years 1984–85 to 1993–94. My right hon. Friend expects shortly to announce the actual allocations for the National Health Service in Wales in 1984–85.

Mr. Powell

Does the Minister appreciate that a 1.5 per cent. increase in spending is required if we are only to stand still? Area health authorities will find it impossible, with this allocation, to reduce waiting lists, to cure patients suffering from kidney disorders and to ensure that the Health Service operates at the level it stood in 1979 when the Conservatives took over. We want greater investment and wish to ensure that the second phase of development of new hospitals, such as the Bridgend project, is carried out. It is clear that it will not be carried out within the allocation that the Minister has announced.

Mr. Roberts

The hon. Gentleman is speaking in complete ignorance of what the Government are proposing to allocate next year. He seems not to appreciate—this is true, of the hon. Member for Caernarfon (Mr. Wigley) —that all we have done is to give authorities a planning assumption of 0.5 per cent. The allocation will be made in due course. I counsel the hon. Gentleman to consider the Government's honourable record of spending on the Health Service since 1979.