HC Deb 15 October 2002 vol 390 cc540-1W
Mr. Laurence Robertson

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the(a) Army, (b) Royal Navy and (c) RAF budgets were for medical provisions in each of the last 10 years for which figures are available; and if he will make a statement. [57971]

Dr. Moonie

[holding answer 22 May 2002]: The costs of the Defence Medical Services (DMS) in the years for which figures are available are shown in the table below. Information for the years 1992–1993 to 1997–1998 is reproduced from the House of Commons Defence Committee (HCDC) Seventh report "The Strategic Defence Review: Defence Medical Services" published on 27 October 1999. The final outturn for 1998–1999 shown in the table was the same as the estimated figure contained in the HCDC Report. For the years 1999–2000 onwards, we have obtained figures from Surgeon General's Department (SGD) (covering SGD and the four medical agencies), single Service Medical Directorates General, HQ British Forces Germany, the Institute of Naval Medicine and the Centre for Aviation Medicine. The budgets for primary care have been disaggregated down to unit level and these figures could therefore only be provided at disproportionate cost. Some historical figures cannot be provided as contemporary records are no longer available.

Mr. Ingram

The Ministry of Defence has introduced only one Bill (which became the Armed Forces Act 2001) in the last five years that contains a sunset clause. The clause relates to the annual requirement to continue in force the Army and Air Force Acts 1955 and the Naval Discipline Act 1957 and provides for the three Service Acts to be continued in force until no later than the end of 2006. The expectation is that by then Parliament will have enacted a further Armed Forces Act, which will extend the lives of the Service Acts for a further five years. This accords with the procedure which Parliament has adopted for this legislation in the past.