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

If the cash did not arrive—fantasy though it may seem, let us consider the prospect of a Conservative Government—my hon. Friend's constituents would be millions of pounds worse off. They would have no access to NHS Direct and his local GPs would have the burden of all the commissioning of health care without any extra remuneration. Thankfully, that prospect is diminishing almost by the day, if we look at the opinion polls, so perhaps we can turn to the good news, which is that there is £69 million extra for my hon. Friend's constituents, or an increase of 22.3 per cent. over two years. That money will go to an area that badly needed it, because it was 6 per cent. beneath the assessed need expressed in the target. I would have liked to bring the figure on to target, but that was not possible. The area will be 3.5 per cent. beneath target, however, so I hope that that goes some way towards recompensing the efforts that my hon. Friend and his constituents have made to meet me and convince me of the need in their area.