§ Mrs. Dunwoody
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what is the annual increase in spending on the National Health Service required to compensate for the increase in the number of old people and the increase in costs of high technology equipment which are in excess of the average rate of inflation.
§ Mr. Kenneth Clarke
At present increased demand assoociatied with demographic change is estimated to require an increase of 0.6 per cent. a year in hospital and community health services. The costs of introducing medical advances including high technology equipment are harder to assess, but we have normally made an allowance towards them of half a per cent. a year. In the family practitioner services expenditure is determined largely by demand and therefore naturally accommodates alterations in demand caused by demographic factors and changes in the costs of drugs and appliances prescribed.