§ Rev. Martin Smyth
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what progress has been made towards meeting the targets for the reduction of patient exemption fraud in each Northern Ireland Health Board area; and what further targets have been put in place. 
§ Angela Smith
The target for the reduction of patient exemption fraud is set at Northern Ireland, rather than at an individual Health Board, level.393W
2004–05 Priorities for Action sets a Northern Ireland target for patient fraud exemption of a 45 per cent. reduction from the 1999–2000 level by 31 March 2005. The Department remains committed to the achievement of this target.
The most recent available results are in respect of 2002–03, which showed a reduction in the level of estimated patient fraud of around 37 per cent. compared to 1999–2000 levels.