HC Deb 16 May 1991 vol 191 cc425-6
Q5. Mr. Loyden

To ask the Prime Minister if he will list his official engagements for Thursday 16 May.

The Prime Minister

I refer the hon. Gentleman to the reply that I gave some moments ago.

Mr. Loyden

Does the Prime Minister agree or disagree with the chief executive of Alderhey hospital, who has told the district health authorities that any district health authority paying an additional £7,500 will be guaranteed not to wait more than 12 months for surgery to be performed on children sent to that hospital? Is not that a clear indication that the Government have completely abandoned the national health service principle of treatment when it is needed and also any pretence of providing other than a two-tier service that will deprive children of surgery at the time when they need it?

The Prime Minister

The hon. Gentleman is being very cheap and wholly inaccurate. There is no question of a two-tier health service. The hon. Gentleman may find what was said recently by a doctor on "Newsnight" interesting. He said: I don't accept that there'll be any priority given[Interruption.] I know that right hon. and hon. Members do not like listening to alternative views, but it would do them good to do so occasionally. The doctor said: I don't accept that there'll be any priority given in where the patients are treated at all. My enthusiasm for GP fund-holding is based on—— [Interruption.] The hon. Gentleman should listen. The doctor said: My enthusiasm … is based on the belief that because I know my patients and because I know the resources in the health service and because I care about the patients, I'm in the best position to use the resources in a wise and helpful way That is the view of people treating patients, and it is better than the hon. Gentleman's.

Mr. Burt

Bearing in mind the adverse criticism directed so often in the past against English football supporters, does my right hon. Friend share my pleasure not only in Manchester United's excellent result last night against Barcelona but in the behaviour of its supporters? Does he agree with me that, good though the quality of the play was, it is likely to be bettered on Sunday in the third division play-off by Bury football club against Bolton Wanderers?

The Prime Minister

I think that I should be in very considerable danger if I answered the last part of that question. With regard to the first part, however, I am glad to join my hon. Friend in congratulating Manchester United, and not only on the performance of its team ——

Mr. Kinnock

"Up the Reds!"

The Prime Minister

Well, on some occasions, maybe. I congratulate Manchester United not only on the performance of its team but on the behaviour of its supporters, which gave an excellent example in Europe that I look forward to seeing followed by British teams throughout Europe when they lift, I hope, a number of trophies next year.