HC Deb 21 March 1989 vol 149 c564W
21. Mr. Hunter

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what steps he is taking to reduce the variations in cost of treatment between different health districts.

Mr. Kenneth Clarke

My Department publishes Health Service indicators annually. These include information on the average cost per acute inpatient case standardised for broad specialty mix. There may be good reasons (such as differences in case-mix not yet identifiable in the statistics) for variations in unit costs. But publication of these variations is intended to prompt action by district health authorities to eliminate unnecessary expenditure. The proposals in "Working for Patients" will provide greater incentives by encouraging both competition and greater regard to cost-effectiveness.