§ Mrs. Dunwoody
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what has been the percentage growth assumed to be needed in order to balance the effects of cost increases in the National Health Service caused by increasing numbers of old people and by technological factors, for each year since 1974 and for each regional health authority.
§ Mr. Geoffrey Finsberg
Estimated growth in the resources of the hospital and community health services needed to cover demographic changes, on the basis used in successive public expenditure White Papers, and using 1980–81 estimated expenditure per head by age group, has been as follows:
per cent. 1974–75 0.0 1975–76 0.0 1976–77 0.2 1977–78 0.3 1978–79 0.9 1979–80 1.3 1980–81 0.9 1981–82 0.6 1982–83 0.7
Comparable estimates for each region are not available centrally.
No precise estimates have been made of the implications of medical advances for hospital and community health service expenditure, but the Department's projections have normally included an allowance of 0.5 per cent. a year on this account.