§ Mr. Tom Cox
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services (1) what is the involvement of his Department in checking services and standards in private hospitals that are run by overseas companies operating in the United Kingdom; and if he will make a statement;
(2) what is the present number of private hospitals in the United Kingdom which are owned and run by foreign companies; and if he will list them;
(3) what are the requirements of his Department for any foreign company wishing to set up private health services in the United Kingdom; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Hayhoe
In England, my right hon. Friend's responsibility for registering and inspecting private hospitals to ensure that standards are maintained is delegated to district health authorities. My Department's role is limited to informing authorities of changes to legislation and giving guidance on the provisions. For certain types of hospital development, authorisation from my Department must be sought, and for others notification must be given to my Department. Private hospitals approved under the Abortion Act 1967 are subject to control and inspection by my Department. There are no special requirements of my Department for foreign companies. Information on ownership and nationality of companies is not collected.
In Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, private hospitals are matters for my right hon. Friends the Secretaries of State.