§ Mr. Corrie
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will consider levying a handling charge on blood supplied to private hospitals; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Younger
I consider it reasonable that private hospitals should bear their share of the handling and processing costs of blood collected and supplied to them by the National Health Service. I am therefore asking the Common Services Agency for the Scottish Health Service to enter into discussions immediately with private hospitals in Scotland with a view to making appropriate provision in contracts with them for the supply of blood. Charges made to private patients in NHS hospitals will also be adjusted accordingly.
I would wish to emphasise that no charge is contemplated for blood itself. In Scotland about 275,000 donations of blood are given annually on an entirely voluntary basis by members of the public from all sections of the community. Their public spiritedness deserves full recognition, and they can be assured that what they freely give will remain freely available for the good of others.
§ Mr. McQuarrie
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will make a statement on the dispute which has led to the refusal of blood to the doctors at Ross hall who require it for the treatment of patients; and whether he has had any representations about particular difficulties in obtaining rare categories of blood.
§ Mr. John MacKay
I refer my hon. Friend to the reply given by my right hon. Friend to my hon. Friend the Member for Cunninghame, North (Mr. Corrie). I have had no representations about difficulties in obtaining rare categories of blood.