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Mr. Thorne : Will my right hon. Friend find time to consider the remarks made by Mr. Russell Hopkins, the general manager of University hospital of Wales, Cardiff when speaking at the BMA conference at Swansea? He accused the BMA of spreading fear, apprehension and uncertainty among the chronically sick, elderly and infirm through its disgraceful publicity campaign. Will my right hon. Friend denounce such behaviour?

The Prime Minister : Yes, I am glad that some doctors and managers have the courage to speak out against the scare tactics which are frighening a number of patients totally unnecessarily. This year the Government have spent three times the amount of money that was spent 10 years ago. In our 10 years in power we have also increased the number of nurses and doctors. The reforms are intended to bring about even better patient care. When we put them into operation, they will do just that.

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