In the light of those shocking figures—1,500 patients awaiting hospital beds in a hospital that has a total of 74 beds—will the hon. and gallant Gentleman do something—cause an inquiry to be held, or do something—to improve the provision of beds in this particular area?
On that particular occasion I was told that it was impossible to give a date for the new building. It is not much good at all simply to say that at some date in the future some steps will be taken. I again ask the hon. and gallant Gentleman to start an inquiry into this matter so that something be done now, and to give a date when we can expect the provision of beds in this area, which is a large mining area where there is a large incidence of accidents.
Will the hon. and gallant Gentleman take into account that the Fife area is growing at a tremendous rate with the influx of miners, and that really, from the point of view of the hospital board, it is absolutely necessary to get away from the habit of the whole population of Fife coming to Edinburgh for treatment? Would it not be an economy to have the hospital developed in Fife?
Here again, might I ask that something should be done to deal with this matter which is causing much concern to everyone, including the hospital Board? Is the hon. and gallant Gentleman aware that last week in a welfare home three persons awaiting hospital treatment died and might well have been saved had provision been made for them? Will he institute inquiries to see whether more provision cannot be made for chronic sick people?