§ 55. Mr. Dodds
asked the Minister of Health by how much the financial content of the hospital programme 1963 to 1974 shown by the latest revision has been reduced from the programme previously agreed for the South-East Metropolitan Regional Hospital Board; what schemes have now been left out until the 6W period 1970 to 1974; and what schemes, originally included in the period up to 1972–73, have now been deferred beyond 1974.
§ Mr. Barber
The financial content of the hospital building programme for this region has not been decreased, as implied in the hon. Member's Question. On the contrary, this year's revision shows an increase for the region of £10 million compared with what was originally proposed.
As I have previously explained, with changes in priorities, involving the development of new projects in the national programme and the bringing forward and the enlargement of others, it has been necessary, despite an increased hospital programme in real terms, to defer some schemes. The third phase of the Kent and Canterbury Hospital is the only scheme in this region suggested as likely to start within the original ten-year programme but now beyond it and expected to start before the end of the ten-year programme of the revised plan.
No scheme which was in the programme following the first revision has been deferred beyond 1974.
Many schemes now differ considerably in scope from what was earlier envisaged, and are likely to change further.