HC Deb 17 November 1986 vol 105 c291
1. Mr. Terlezki

asked the Secretary of State for Wales if he will make a statement on the service available in Wales for bone marrow transplants.

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Wales (Mr. Mark Robinson)

A new purpose-built unit for bone marrow transplant operations has been provided this year at the University Hospital of Wales, Cardiff. My right hon. Friend will perform the opening ceremony this Friday, 21 November.

Mr. Terlezki

I am grateful to my hon. Friend for such a good and encouraging reply. How many operations will the unit be able to undertake? Will it meet the need for bone marrow transplants in the future?

Mr. Robinson

The unit will be capable of providing 20 bone marrow transplant operations each year. Therefore, it is expected to meet the need for bone marrow transplantations in Wales for the foreseeable future.

Dr. Roger Thomas

Is the Under-Secretary happy that so much of the initiative on bone marrow transplantation has had to be left to the initiatives arising from the dire need of the parents of those who are suffering?

Mr. Robinson

This initiative has been taken by the Welsh Office. It is centrally funded, and we shall continue to fund its recurrent costs.

Mr. Gwilym Jones

Is my hon. Friend satisfied with the fact that bone marrow transplants and the other excellent parts of the expanded Health Service are still submerged in an extensive committee system? Does he recognise the frustration of Health Service managers who should be free to manage resources against priorities instead of carrying out some of the difficult-to-understand decisions that come out of the committee system?

Mr. Robinson

I understand what my hon. Friend is saying, but district health authorities are required to create their own sets of priorities and to manage their resources within them. In addition, we fund services regionally, such as the bone marrow transplant unit, and this is designed to give priority to certain projects which we feel require it and have specific importance.

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