In a Commons statement, David Clark, the Cabinet minister with responsibility for Whitehall, appealed to MPs to do all they could to apply local pressure to some trusts and health authorities to take the issue seriously.
He said the NHS and local authorities needed to reassure the public that they could ensure a "satisfactory continuation of key public services over the millennium".
The bug will strike from the end of next year when two-digit year-dates change to 00. At that point, some computer programs will be unable to distinguish 2000 from 1900.
It emerged yesterday that the NHS executive has given all trusts and authorities a September 1999 deadline for ensuring "all parts of the NHS are fully prepared with compliant equipment or effective contingency plans in place".
That deadline is certain to increase government concerns about the action being taken by the NHS - because it leaves an inadequate three-month safety net for authorities which fall behind.
The National Audit Office reported just last month that 15 per cent of trusts who bothered to reply to an official survey "were not confident that they would succeed in ensuring that their clinical equipment would continue functioning normally in year 2000".Reuse content