Local Health Committees

Oral Answers to Questions — Northern Ireland – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 22nd November 1990.

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Photo of Martin Smyth Martin Smyth , Belfast South 12:00 am, 22nd November 1990

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will make it his policy to maintain local health committees in the reorganisation of the national health service.

Photo of Mr Richard Needham Mr Richard Needham , North Wiltshire

It remains our policy to secure effective local advice.

Photo of Martin Smyth Martin Smyth , Belfast South

Will the Minister ensure that that effective local advice will be to retain the 16 local committees rather than reducing them to four area councils, bearing in mind that the Welsh Office gave that pattern to Wales?

Photo of Mr Richard Needham Mr Richard Needham , North Wiltshire

I will, of course, pass on the hon. Gentleman's views to my noble Friend the Under-Secretary of State, Lord Skelmersdale. All I can say is that I think that four councils will do a much better job than the 16 district committees which were fragmented and powerless under the existing system.