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Dr. Murrison: To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to the answer to the hon. Member for Vale of York (Miss McIntosh) of 25 March 2004, Official Report, column 1050W, on general practitioners, what assessment his Department has made in (a) money and (b) manpower terms of the potential impact of the new GP contract on ambulance services providing out-of-hours cover. 
Mr. Hutton: No central assessment has been made; however, the new contract provides the opportunity for primary care trusts to commission and resource out-of-hours services together with ambulance services, to provide integrated unscheduled care. This should ensure that patients receive easy access to the treatment they need and that the most effective and appropriate use is made of ambulance services.
Alan Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment he has made of the likely impact on hospital emergency services of the choice general practitioners will have after October to opt out of Saturday morning surgeries. 
Mr. Hutton: Under the new general medical services contract, primary care trusts (PCTs) have responsibility for ensuring a high quality service is available to patients during the out-of-hours period, which now includes Saturday mornings. PCTs have consequently built this extra demand into their capacity assumptions and their commissioning. They are also communicating details of changes, where necessary, to patients and other local services.
Miss Melanie Johnson: The Health Protection Agency (HPA) is a special health authority (SHA), created by the Health Protection Agency (Yr Asiantaeth Diogelu lechyd) Establishment Order 2003 (SI 2003/505), with further provision made in the Health Protection Agency (Yr Asiantaeth Diogelu lechyd) Regulations (SI 2003/506). Further material relevant to the Secretary of State's relationship with the SHA is in the Secretary of State's directions to the HPA conferring functions and directing how they should be exercised (dated 1 April 2003) and in the management statement agreed with the authority, copies of which are available in the Library.
The Health Protection Agency Act received Royal Assent on 22 July 2004. This makes provision for establishing the HPA as a non-departmental public body, which will take up the functions of both the HPA
1 Sept 2004 : Column 897W
SHA and the National Radiological Protection Board, both of which will be wound up. Our intention is that this should happen on 1 April 2005.
Mr. Nigel Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether the changes to the entitlement of non-EU nationals to treatment by British (a) general practitioners and (b) dentists will also apply to children travelling from outside the EU. 
Mr. Hutton: The Department is currently consulting on "Proposals to Exclude Overseas Visitors from Eligibility to Free National Health Service (NHS) Primary Medical Services". The consultation ends on 13 August. Copies of the consultation document can be obtained from www.dh.gov.uk/consultation or from the national health service response line on 08701 555455. A copy of the consultation document is available in the Library.
The proposals are intended to provide clarity regarding the eligibility of overseas visitors, including non-European Union nationals and their dependents, to receive free NHS primary medical services, and therefore apply only to those services provided by general practitioners.
Sandra Gidley: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many people aged (a) 25, (b) between 26 and 50, (c) between 51 and 60, (d) between 61 and 70 and (e) 71 years have had heart bypass surgery in each of the last three years; and if he will make a statement. 
Miss Melanie Johnson: The joint committee on vaccination and immunisation, the Government's expert advisory committee, is currently reviewing our national hepatitis B immunisation programme. This review will consider whether the programme might need to be expanded or strengthened.
Miss Melanie Johnson: Immunisation is already recommended for babies born to mothers infected with hepatitis B to prevent them developing chronic infection. The joint committee on vaccination and immunisation, the Government's expert advisory committee, is currently reviewing our national hepatitis B immunisation programme. This review will consider whether the programme might need to be expanded or strengthened.
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