§ 16. Mr. McLaren
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services whether she will publish an estimate of the cost to the National Health Service of abolishing private medical practice.
§ Mrs. Castle
We are not intending to abolish private medical practice; any such policy would require legislation banning all private medicine. What we are committed to by our election manifesto is the phasing out of private pay beds from within National Health Service hospitals thus separating private medical practice from the National Health Service. This will be discussed in the Joint Working Party and costs will depend on phasing and other matters.