§ Mr. Michael J. Martin
To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what steps he is taking to reduce the waiting list of those patients awaiting heart bypass surgery in Scotland.
§ Mr. Michael Forsyth
Since central funding began in 1983, the number of heart bypass operations performed in Scotland has increased from 853 to 1,500 by December 1989. Between January and September 1990 1,074 heart bypass operations were carried out–the latest available information. This financial year, the three health boards involved have received £15.7 million for cardiac surgery services—9.5 million to Greater Glasgow, £4.9 million to Lothian and £1.3 million to Grampian. Aberdeen royal infirmary is being funded to enable it to increase its throughput from an initial level of around 50 patients a year to 300 a year by 1992. This year Greater Glasgow health board has received an additional allocation of £467,000 from the waiting list fund initiative specifically to treat an extra 80 cardiac surgery patients.
On 24 January I announced a further increase in funding for the systematic expansion of the Scottish cardiac surgery programme, as the Government will provide £374,470 more to Lothian health board for this purpose during 1990–91. Having carried out 579 open heart operations in the first nine months of 1990–91, the board is well on its way to meeting its target for the year. This additional funding will further enhance the work at the royal infirmary of Edinburgh and contribute to an even better performance to reduce waiting times for surgery.
The new centre to provide heart transplant surgery to be established in 1991–92 at the royal infirmary, Glasgow, which I announced on 14 January, will be a valuable addition to services already being provided in the field of cardiac surgery. It will have the capacity to carry out not only heart transplants but other cardiac procedures.