asked the Minister of Health whether he is aware that in mental hospitals the daily diet allowance per patient is 2s. 5d., and in general hospitals 3s. 5d.; that, owing to increased costs, it is impossible to provide an adequate balanced diet within this limit; and if he will frame his Estimates for next year on a basis more in keeping with the current cost of food.
I will certainly take into account the effect of food prices in considering the estimates for the hospital service for next year, but no daily diet allowance per patient is fixed centrally, although in some instances a daily rate has been indicated by the regional board to help to secure that expenditure as a whole does not exceed their allocation.