HC Deb 03 May 1989 vol 152 cc176-7
15. Dr. Moonie

To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what representations he has had supporting the proposals for reform of the National Health Service.

Mr. Rifkind

Most submissions on the White Paper have shown strong support for certain proposals and criticism of others.

Dr. Moonie

Surprise, surprise. I have received 600 repesentations on the proposals, and all of them have been negative. I suppose that that is hardly surprising either. One proposal that most Opposition Members would support is the one involving computerisation in hospitals. How many health boards in Scotland have the full complement of computer staff?

Mr. Rifkind

I would need notice of that question, but I shall make sure that the hon. Gentleman is provided with the necessary information. I was surprised to hear him say that all the 600 representations that he has received were negative, because the hon. Gentleman might assist us in putting the other side of the coin. In fact, he has already done so. A rather splendid document was issued by the Labour party on 12 April and signed by the hon. Gentleman and the hon. Member for Strathkelvin and Bearsden (Mr. Galbraith). On page 3, there is a heading: "What's good in the White Paper:" It goes on to tell us: Quality of care … efficiency in the delivery of care … more information available to consultants and general practitioners … further devolution of management to hospital and unit level … a flexible accounting system to reflect clinical led doctors/patient choice … audit. I can only express the hope, but not the expectation, that the BMA will prove as objective as the hon. Gentleman in realising the many virtues in the White Paper.