HC Deb 21 July 1986 vol 102 c11
13. Mrs. Clwyd

asked the Secretary of State for Wales what representations he has received on hospital waiting lists in the Cynon Valley and Wales.

Mr. Mark Robinson

Representations on matters relating to waiting lists have been received from many parts of the Principality, including Cynon Valley. I indicated the extent of our response to the hon. Lady in replying to her question on 30 June.

Mrs. Clwyd

Is the Minister aware that there are far fewer general surgeons in post than when the Government came to power in 1979, and that there are now fewer consultant surgeons per head of population in Britain than in any other Western country? Does that not nail the lie perpetuated by the Government that they have put more into the National Health Service? Does the Minister agree with the president of the Royal College of Surgeons, who said recently: Wards are being closed, beds are being closed, surgeons are being told to reduce their operating sessions. Many of us, including myself, have been criticised for doing too much work. That is unbelievable. The prime reason is finance.

Mr. Robinson

I am pleased to tell the hon. Lady that my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State opened no fewer than two new hospitals on Friday. Staff directly concerned with front-line patient care, including the categories to which the hon. Lady referred, have increased by 12.5 per cent. since 1979, nursing staff are up by 10 per cent., medical and dental staff are up by 13 per cent.—an overall increase of 18 per cent. I am astonished that the hon. Lady should refer to falling resources, because expenditure that we have made available to the Health Service since we came to power has increased by no less than 26 per cent. in real terms.