HC Deb 07 November 1989 vol 159 cc828-9
14. Mr. Win Griffiths

To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he has any plans to reassess the way in which the financial needs of the National Health Service are determined each year.

Mrs. Virginia Bottomley

No. The Government will continue to assess the financial needs of the NHS within the context of the annual public expenditure round.

Mr. Griffiths

Does the Minister admit that talking about additional expenditure on the Health Service beyond the retail prices index is meaningless when costs within the Health Service rise ahead of the RPI, and the number of old people who need treatment means there is additional need for expenditure? Will the Minister take that into account during the next public expenditure review?

Mrs. Bottomley

It is not meaningless for the 70,000 extra nurses who have been employed by this Government. It is not meaningless for the 14,000 extra doctors who have been taken on. It is not meaningless for the nurses who have received a 45 per cent. increase in pay and it is not meaningless for the £4 billion hospital building programme.