HC Deb 04 November 2003 vol 412 c666
12. Siobhain McDonagh (Mitcham and Morden)

What recent estimate he has made of the cost to the NHS of a hip replacement operation (a) in an NHS hospital and (b) in a private hospital. [135980]

The Secretary of State for Health (Dr. John Reid)

The most recent estimate of the cost to the NHS of a hip replacement in an NHS hospital is £4,356. BUPA currently advertises an inclusive care price for a hip replacement as being within the range £7,150 to £8,900.

Siobhain McDonagh

I thank my right hon. Friend for that answer. Does he agree that the way to tackle hip and knee replacement waiting lists is through exciting projects such as the south-west London hip and knee centre rather than by subsidising the private sector, as the Conservative party would do?

Dr. Reid

I entirely agree with my hon. Friend. The south-west London NHS treatment centre for hips and knees in Epsom that will open in January will benefit her constituents and those of other hon. Members. It is planned that the centre will have the capacity to treat some 3,150 orthopaedic cases in the 12 months to the end of September. She is absolutely right, and I make it absolutely plain, that the Labour party, which is the only party for which I can speak, will never force old folks to be charged out of their savings to pay for their own operations.