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|Organ transplants, United Kingdom, 1997 to 2007 by year and SHA|
|Strategic health authority||1997||1998||1999||2000||2001||2002||2003||2004||2005||2006||2007||T otal|
Mr. Evennett: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the median waiting time was for (a) an out-patient first appointment and (b) an in-patient appointment in (i) Bexley and (ii) Greater London in the most recent period for which figures are available. 
The following table shows the median waiting time for an out-patient appointment and an
in-patient appointment in Bexley care trust area and in the London strategic health authority (SHA) area at April 2008-09.
|In-patient and out-patient median waits at April 2008-09|
|Median wait (weeks)|
Department of Health Monthly Monitoring Return Commissioner-based (April 2008-09).
Today, patients can expect a maximum 13-week wait for their first out-patient appointment and a maximum six-month wait for an operation from a decision to admit. These improvements are a result of a combination of record investment, the hard work of national health service staff and changes in the way the NHS works.
By December 2008, no one should have to wait more than 18 weeks from the time they are referred to the start of their treatment, unless it is clinically appropriate or they choose to wait longer. Delivery of the 18-week waiting time standard will reduce unnecessary delays and improve patients experience of the whole journey.
Mr. Ivan Lewis [holding answer 17 June 2008]: A substantial volume of data, with regard to wheelchair services has been collected and analysed through the Transforming Community Equipment and Wheelchair Services (TCEWS) Programme to develop a business case for change.
Mr. Douglas Alexander: The Department for International Development (DFID) has allocated £30 million to the Afghanistan Investment Climate Facility (AICF, formerly the Afghanistan Growth Fund). Roshan Telecom, a private Afghan firm and the country's largest taxpayer, has committed US$100,000. Further private sector investment is expected as the AICF develops. Discussions with other donors are ongoing to finalise pledges.
Mr. Thomas: A comprehensive action plan to implement the joint Africa-European Union strategy was agreed at the EU Africa summit in Lisbon in December 2007. This plan has eight key themes, each with a set of priority actions to be taken forward through EU-Africa Partnerships. The UK Government are working with other member states and the African Union to ensure that sound progress is made in all areas. Plans are also in hand to ensure that civil society, both in Africa and Europe, is able to monitor progress and contribute ideas. Under arrangements agreed by member states, the UK Government are leading for the EU in co-ordinating the monitoring of progress against one of the key themes: the millennium development goals. An initial meeting of the European Commission and member states took place in Brussels on 28 May.
Mr. Thomas: DFID works in southern Africa to make it easier, quicker, and cheaper to trade across borders through its Regional Trade Facilitation programme (RTFP). This is helping to raise economic growth rates, create jobs and reduce poverty in southern Africa. The RTFP, together with the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) and the East African Community (EAC), is implementing the following specific measures:
1. Opening three one-stop border posts in the region, between: Zambia and Zimbabwe; Mozambique and South Africa; and Lesotho and South Africa. These will reduce transit times for exports and imports, and bring down transport costs which will make Southern African producers more competitive.
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