Parliamentary Questions - Written Replies

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WAITING LISTS: The number of in-patients and day cases waiting for ophthalmology treatment in England increased by more than 40 per cent, from 71,108 to 100,518, between March 1988 and March last year, Brian Mawhinney, the Health minister, told Dame Jill Knight (C. Birmingham Edgbaston). The biggest waiting list increases over the four years were in the Mersey Regional Health Authority, up 81 per cent to 6,380, and NE Thames (up 88 per cent to 5,245 cases), although Mr Mawhinney said that last March no one had been waiting more than two years in any region.

SPENDING: Child benefit expenditure fell by almost 11 per cent in real terms, to pounds 5,767m, between 1978-79 and 1992-93, figures issued by Alastair Burt, Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Social Security, revealed. The NHS will be spending pounds 647 for every man woman and child this year, but no comparative figures were available for other EC members, Dawn Primarolo (Lab. Bristol S) was told.