§ Mr. Barry Jones
To ask the Secretary of State for Wales when he proposes to abolish GP fundholding; and if he will make a statement on his proposed alternative arrangements. 
Mr. Jon Owen Jones
We shall include provisions to abolish the GP fundholding scheme in the Bill to modernise the NHS. Although a fundholding scheme must remain available until that Bill reaches Royal Assent, this need not take the form of the existing standard and community fundholding schemes. The Department is therefore about to consult the GP representative bodies on proposals to bring these existing arrangements to an end on 31 March 1999 and substitute a residual scheme. This residual scheme would meet the requirements of the current primary legislation, should that still be in force on 1 April 1999, while minimising any disruption to the development of Local Health Groups. No new primary legislation is needed to implement our plans to establish Local Health Groups as Committees of Health Authorities from 1 April 1999.