§ 20. Mr. Geraint Howells
To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he will make a statement on the present state of the National Health Service in Wales.
§ Mr. Grist
The NHS in Wales is treating and caring for more people than ever before, as a result of the efforts of all who work in the service to make the best use of the record levels of resources that we are providing. By 1990–91 funding for the NHS in Wales will have increased by nearly a half in real terms since 1978–79.
§ 24. Dr. Kim Howells
To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what representations he has received in favour of his Government's proposals for reform of the National Health Service.
§ Mr. Grist
My right hon. Friend and I have received a considerable number of written representations from the medical, nursing and other health professions, from other interested bodies and organisations and from members of the public, supporting the objectives for the further improvement of the NHS in Wales set out in the White Paper "Working for Patients" (Cm. 555) which are to improve the management and effectiveness of the NHS and thus to improve patient care.
We have also had extensive detailed discussions with the health authorities, family practitioner committees and representatives of the medical and nursing professions and others working in the NHS which have shown a substantial degree of support for our objectives. In particular there is support for the introduction of assurance control in all hospital and general practice, including medical audit; the distribution of resources to ensure that money follows the patient and an end to the so-called "efficiency trap"; investment in up-to-date information systems to ensure that the maximum health care is provided from available resources; and indicative 479W drug budgets which will not infringe in any way the right of a GP to prescribe all those medicines which individual patients need.