HC Deb 15 March 1983 vol 39 cc134-5W
26. Mr. Mike Thomas

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what is his estimate of the real net change in Government expenditure on the National Health Service, excluding sums attributable to demographic change, new technology and efficiency savings between 1980–81 and 1982–83.

Mr. Kenneth Clarke

Growth in hospital and community health services between 1980–81 and 1982–83 is expected to be about 4½ per cent. in real terms. This is about double the growth needed to maintain standards in the face of rising costs associated with demographic changes and the allowances normally made for medical advance. It includes the efficiency savings of 0.2 per cent. reported by health authorities in 1981–82 towards development of services and their target of 0.5 per cent. for further savings in 1982–83 but the figures become artificial and meaningless if these savings are disregarded.

The family practitioner services are financed largely on a demand basis which allows for changes in expenditure to reflect alterations in the population structure of medical developments. These services are expected to grow by about 4 per cent. between 1980–81 and 1982–83.

Total current net expenditure on the NHS in 1980–81 was £9.1 billion and in 1982–83 it is expected to be £11.1 billion. The overall real growth of NHS expenditure over the period is expected to be 4.3 per cent. This is a substantial increase in resources and allows for real improvements in the level of patients services on any basis of calculation or conventional measure.