§ Mr. Alex Carlile
To ask the Prime Minister why she has refused to discuss the Government's National Health Service plans with the medical royal colleges, the British Medical Association, the Royal College of Nursing, the joint consultants committee and the Royal College of Midwives; and if she will make a statement.
§ The Prime Minister
My right hon. and learned Friend the Secretary of State for Health has said on many occasions that he welcomes constructive views on how to implement our proposals for the Health Service. He remains willing to engage in constructive dialogue with the leaders of the health professional bodies. That is why he, his fellow Ministers and senior officials in the Department of Health have met the leaders of the medical profession to talk about the proposed reforms on over 100 occasions since the White Paper was published. We are convinced—as are many people working in the NHS—that change is essential if the service is to prosper. I see little purpose in having a separate meeting.