HC Deb 13 January 1994 vol 235 cc332-3
Q3. Mr. Corbyn

To ask the Prime Minister what plans he has to make an official visit to a London national health service hospital.

The Prime Minister

I shall be making a series of visits around the country, during which I intend to include NHS hospitals, as I have in the past.

Mr. Corbyn

In his visits around the country, will the Prime Minister undertake to explain to Londoners why more than 150,000 people are on hospital waiting lists? Beds are being closed and wards are being taken out of operation, and one night in Bart's hospital more than 30 people had to sleep on floors or on trolleys because there was not sufficient space for them. Are not the Prime Minister's policies of the internal market leading to more and more closures and losses of bed space as the crisis and the chaos get worse? Is not it time for him to intervene to scrap the internal market and give Londoners the health service which they need, deserve and demand? Is not that a basic right?

The Prime Minister

We are certainly seeking to give Londoners the health service which they deserve. In addition, we are seeking to improve dramatically primary health care in the capital and that has been evident for some time.

The hon. Gentleman neglected to mention in his catalogue the dramatic reductions in the times which patients wait for hospital treatment. Since the reforms have been implemented, the number of patients who have been waiting for more than a year has fallen from around 120,000 to just over 70,000, and that figure is on a declining trend. The hon. Gentleman will know of expenditure which has been made in his own area's district health authority. He ought not to underestimate the work that is being done to improve the health service for all the people who live in London.

Forward to