NHS Funding

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:31 pm on 9th February 2005.

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Photo of John Reid John Reid Secretary of State, Department of Health, The Secretary of State for Health 12:31 pm, 9th February 2005

This may astound the right hon. and learned Gentleman, but I do agree with that. We put more than £60 million into the access fund precisely to encourage people to do the sort of thing that he suggested. I have never pretended that we have perfection in the NHS, despite all the progress that we have made. We have a shortage of dentists, radiologists and radiographers, and we could do with more midwives. We have only started our building programme, and we still have long waiting lists, although they are almost 500,000 below their peak. Labour Members welcome any ideas, because we do not approach the matter dogmatically. We have already taken action similar to that suggested by the right hon. and learned Gentleman this year.