HC Deb 21 July 1986 vol 102 cc6-7
4. Mr. Favell

asked the Secretary of State for Wales how many new kidney patients per million head of population received dialysis treatment in 1979 and in the latest year for which figures are available.

Mr. Mark Robinson

In 1985 approximately 56 new patients per million population received dialysis treatment in Wales, compared with 19 new patients per million population in 1979.

Mr. Favell

I trust that Welsh Members will forgive me for venturing into health questions, but it is a subject in which I am interested. Can my hon. Friend tell me whether the wonderful improvement in kidney dialysis provision in Wales is due to a partnership between the private health sector and the National Health Service? Elsewhere in the United Kingdom, could not scarce resources as well as lives be saved by following the excellent example of Wales?

Mr. Robinson

I welcome my hon. Friend's question. This has been an outstandingly successful experiment in Carmarthen and in Bangor. In order to see what has been achieved in terms of co-operation between the public and private sectors in health care provision, I have written to my colleagues in the Scottish Office, the Northern Ireland Office and in England to inform them of what has been done and to urge them to look at it if they are so minded.

Mr. Coleman

I welcome the increase in the number of dialysis treatments in Wales, but can the Minister guarantee that this will continue, especially in the light of the Western Mail report this morning, which talks of shortages of doctors in Welsh hospitals? It says that authorities have to pay as much as £1,000 a week for locums and that young junior doctors have to work 104 hours a week. What will he do about that to ensure that the Health Service in Wales can continue successfully?

Mr. Robinson

Not only can I guarantee to the hon. Gentleman that the service will be maintained, but I can tell him that at the moment we are working on plans to extend the service.