Health Centres

Oral Answers to Questions — Northern Ireland – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 14th December 1972.

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Photo of Mr Norman Lamont Mr Norman Lamont , Kingston upon Thames 12:00 am, 14th December 1972

asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many health centres have been built in Northern Ireland to date; what percentage of the overall total of general practitioners is practising from these health centres; and how this compares with progress in the remainder of the United Kingdom.

Photo of Mr Peter Mills Mr Peter Mills , Torrington

At 1st December 1972 there were 31 health centres in operation in Northern Ireland, and it is estimated that between 17 per cent. and 18 per cent. of general practitioners were practising from health centres. In December 1971, the comparative percentages for England and Wales and for Scotland were 8·3 and 5·5 respectively.

Photo of Mr Norman Lamont Mr Norman Lamont , Kingston upon Thames

In view of the importance of health centres—especially in deprived areas—in providing a variety of medical services conveniently available under one roof, what plans are there for the future?

Photo of Mr Peter Mills Mr Peter Mills , Torrington

In the short term, by 31st March 1975 there will be 63 health centres. In the long term, plans are in hand for a number of other projects whereby by 1980 there will be 500 family doctors working from about 90 centres. That is a very high percentage when it is compared with the situation over here.