§ Mr. Redmond
To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will list the health authorities in England and Wales who are buying operations for their patients from hospitals in European countries; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Dorrell
Health authorities in England and Wales do not have legal powers to contract directly with overseas providers for treatment of United Kingdom residents. Under the European Community social security regula-tions, individual patients may be referred elsewhere in the EC specifically for treatment, but only with the prior authorisation of the Department of Health. We are not aware of any health authorities entering into such contracts.