Is the hon. Gentleman aware that those figures do not reflect the correct position in Kirkcaldy, since many people in the area are treated in Edinburgh hospitals? In view of the circumstances, does he not agree that the suggestion to provide private beds in Victoria Hospital would be against the best interests of the community at large?
I agree with the hon. Gentleman that they do not give the present situation, because they do not take account of the new buildings in the Victoria Hospital which were opened at the beginning of last month. Over the next few months there will be a distinct improvement.
The number of persons on the general medicine waiting list was six on 30th September, 1960, compared with one on 30th September, 1959. The corresponding figures for the geriatric waiting list were 61 and 62 respectively.
Those figures reflect the very favourable position in respect of medical beds, but is the hon. Gentleman aware that some of the consultants in Fife are pressing to have private beds provided in the new Victoria Hospital? As the provision of such beds would lead to queue jumping according to one's financial means, will the hon. Gentleman oppose any suggestion of providing private beds in that hospital.