HC Deb 11 March 1998 vol 308 cc551-2
Q10. Mr. Page

What plans he has to pay an official visit to South-West Hertfordshire.

The Prime Minister

I have no immediate plans to do so.

Mr. Page

I am devastated by that response. I would like the Prime Minister to come to my constituency because I would like him to explain to my constituents the fourth of his six election promises, which he will have at the forefront of his mind—that to reduce waiting lists. I want him to explain to my constituents who use the hospitals in the area why waiting lists have increased, depending on the category, by 7.5 per cent. up to 28.9 per cent. Some people are now waiting more than 18 months, when there was a zero wait before. Can he tell us the value of a Prime Minister's pledge at election time?

The Prime Minister

The value is that the pledge will be met, in precisely the way that we said at the election. The hon. Gentleman is complaining about national health service waiting lists, but they have been going up for about three years. I do not remember his uttering a word about NHS waiting lists before the election. As they are going up as a result of the financial constraints, and as we are putting £1.5 billion more into the health service than the Conservative Government he supported were prepared to do, we will get them down and the public will know that had they left the health service in the hands of a Conservative Government they would have carried on rising and rising and rising.

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