§ Mr. Winnick
To ask the Secretary of State for Health what recommendations have been made by the National Institute for Clinical Excellence about reducing keyhole operations on financial grounds; and if he will make a statement. 
§ Mr. Denham
[holding answer 23 January 2001]The National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) has given guidance on the use of laparoscopic surgery for colorectal cancer and inguinal hernia. The details of this guidance can be obtained from NICE.601W
When undertaking its appraisals NICE takes into account both clinical and cost effectiveness in accordance with Directions from my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Health and the National Assembly for Wales.