HC Deb 06 February 1986 vol 91 c233W
Mr. Dobson

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland, pursuant to the answer of 25 November, Official Report, columns 429–32, if he will make a statement concerning the £28,774 written off as bad debts by the Lothian health board in 1984–85.

Mr. John MacKay

The sum written off represents £24,634 in respect of debts dating from 1975 of overseas visitors treated in hospitals in the health board area and £4,140 due by private patients which remained unpaid despite repeated efforts to effect recovery. In all cases it is no longer considered cost-effective to continue to pursue recovery. Guidance issued since 1981 advises health boards to seek deposits in line with estimated treatment costs to avoid bad debts arising, and I am satisfied that this is now the practice.