HC Deb 25 April 1985 vol 77 cc544-5W
Mr. Nicholas Brown

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services why Newcastle general hospital is the only university teaching centre in the United Kingdom not to be equipped with a laser for the treatment of cancer of the cervix.

Mr. Kenneth Clarke

Capital allocations are made each year to regional health authorities, and by them to their district health authorities. The capital allocation to the Northern regional health authority for the year 1985–86 is £39.037 million. It is for individual authorities to determine how much of that money is spent on medical equipment and on which specific items.

Newcastle district health authority and its medical advisory committee have spent their past allocations for medical equipment on other items to which they attached higher priority, as they were quite entitled to do. We do not know whether it is accurate to claim that this is the only teaching hospital in the country not to have a laser. Arguments of that kind cannot in any event be the sole determinent of judgments about priorities between equipment for patient services.