HC Deb 15 March 1983 vol 39 c141W
57. Mr. Park

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services how much money has been spent over the past four years in the hospital budget to pay for the increase in the number of old people and high technology costs.

Mr. Geoffrey Finsberg

Growth in hospital and community health services between 1978–79 and 1982–83 was about 5½ per cent. in real terms. Together with health authorities' own contribution through improved efficiency, this is equivalent to additional cash totalling nearly £400 million. During this period demographic changes—mainly increases in the number of old people—are estimated to have added 3.4 per cent.—or just under £200 million—to health authorities' costs. No precise estimates have been made of the implications of medical advances for health authority expenditure but the Department's projections have normally included an allowance of ½ per cent. a year on this account. This would be equivalent to about £120 million over the four years.