§ Mr. Bob Russell
To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much money was spent by GP fundholders in the North Essex Health Authority area on administrative costs of operating the internal market in the last year for which figures are available. 
§ Mr. Milburn
Fundholding general practitioners are allocated as part of their allotted sum a management allowance to meet the costs of managing their fund. This covers the employment of staff and other costs associated with the management of their fundholding budget, as well as the reimbursement of GP fundholding computing costs.
For 1997–98, a total of £2,604,000 has been allocated to North Essex Health Authority for the management costs of fundholders in their area.
Any management allowance under spent can be transferred to patient care.