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Stroke Patients

Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what plans he has to ensure that all those who suffer a stroke are admitted to a specialist stroke unit; [3922]

Mr. Hutton: The Department published the National Service Framework for Older People (NSF) on 27 March 2001. Its sets out a comprehensive strategy to ensure fair, high quality integrated health and social care and reduce variations in services for older people.

The NSF addresses a number of specific conditions, which are significant for, although not limited to, older people. It includes a standard on stroke and service models, which should apply to all who need them regardless of age.

The stroke standard provides for stroke prevention, immediate care, early and continuing rehabilitation, and long-term support as components of a service model for integrated specialist stroke services which will build on current arrangements and be in place in all general hospitals which care for people with stroke by April 2004.

Alzheimer's Disease and Dementia

Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what measures he (a) has taken and (b) plans to take to give assistance to carers of people with Alzheimer's and dementia. [3925]

Jacqui Smith: I refer my hon. Friend to the reply I gave on 2 July 2001, Official Report, columns 30–31W.

Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what measures he (a) has taken and (b) plans to take to improve the quality of life of those with Alzheimer's disease and dementia. [3924]

Jacqui Smith: The National Service Framework for Older People, launched in March 2001, will, for the first time, set national standards and define service models for older people's health and social care, driving up the quality and reducing the variations of that care.

Doctor Numbers

Mr. Hopkins: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many (a) doctors and (b) consultants she estimates are employed full-time in private sector acute hospitals. [4419]

Mr. Hutton: Information about the number of doctors and consultants employed in the private sector is not collected centrally.

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INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT

Palestinian Authority

Mr. Gareth R. Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what action she is taking to encourage economic development in the Palestinian Authority areas. [1274]

Clare Short: The UK is working within the middle east peace process to support the building of the Palestinian nation's ability to generate economic and social development that benefits the poor. DFID's support includes technical assistance to increase Palestinian capacity to negotiate with the Israelis on economic and other issues to build institutions and to improve health, education and water and sanitation services. DFID has recently approved a contribution of £1.5 million to the World bank's emergency employment generation programme to the West bank and Gaza Strip, aimed at protecting vulnerable groups from falling further into poverty.

However, economic and social benefits are being eroded by the continuing conflict. A report by the Office of the United Nations Special Co-ordinator for the period 28 September to 26 November 2000, estimated that confrontations, mobility restrictions, and border closures are costing the Palestinian economy at least US$8 million per day.

FOREIGN AND COMMONWEALTH AFFAIRS

Burundi

Mr. Love: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what is the Government's policy on establishing a UN tribunal on Burundi; and if he will make a statement. [1403]

Mr. Bradshaw: We are concerned over growing instability in Burundi and continue to press all parties to make progress on implementing the Arusha peace process. The international community is not currently considering the establishment of an international criminal tribunal for Burundi. Issues of accountability arising from the conflict are part of the ongoing Burundi peace process.

Mr. Love: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what efforts are being made to investigate war crimes and human rights abuses in Burundi; and if he will make a statement. [1404]

Mr. Bradshaw: Our emphasis now is on supporting the Arusha peace agreement, which offers the best chance for bringing peace and stability to Burundi. We support fully last week's UN Presidential Statement (SPRST2001/17), which calls for the suspension of hostilities, and reaffirms the international community's concern over continuing human rights abuses and violations of humanitarian law.

Mr. Love: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what support he gives to NGOs and human rights groups investigating war crimes and human rights abuses in Rwanda and Burundi; and if he will make a statement. [1405]

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Mr. Bradshaw: The UK is playing its role in supporting NGO groups working in Rwanda and Burundi. DFID are providing approximately £500,000 over three years to improve the quality of the judicial system. They also plan to establish a civil society fund to support local NGOs involved in human rights reconciliation activities. Our embassy in Kigali (Rwanda) uses a significant portion of its small grant scheme (worth £200,000) to support human rights NGOs in Rwanda and Burundi.

In 2001 the UK will provide the International Criminal Tribunal on Rwanda with over £3 million. The tribunal does significant work with victims and witnesses.

Ian Stillman

Mr. Laxton: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on the case of Ian Stillman; and what action he has taken on his behalf. [2674]

Mr. Bradshaw: My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary raised our concerns about Mr. Stillman's welfare at a meeting on 26 June with the Indian High Commissioner and Prime Minister Vajpayee's Principal Secretary. The Indian High Commissioner asked for a written note highlighting our concerns and the Foreign Secretary duly wrote to the High Commissioner on 28 June.

We will continue to speak to the Indian authorities to ensure that his appeal is heard swiftly.

Israel

Ann Clwyd: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what steps are being taken by the UK Government to encourage the Israeli Government to lift the blockades in the Israeli occupied areas of the West Bank and Gaza. [3232]

Mr. Bradshaw: We have serious concerns with the Israeli policy of closures on political, legal and humanitarian grounds. It is hard to justify the closures, even on the narrow security grounds which Israel presents. The closures radicalise the Palestinian population and fuel violence in the occupied territories. They cannot, therefore, achieve their stated purpose. We continue to urge Israel to lift the closures, bilaterally, in ministerial and official level meetings, and collectively with our EU partners in statements and in the political dialogue established by the EU-Israel Association Agreement.

Lifting the closures also forms part of the Mitchell Committee recommendations. It is vital that the parties move ahead with full and early implementation of those recommendations.

Macedonia

Mr. Randall: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what financial aid his Department has provided to the Government of Macedonia since 1 January. [2824]

Mr. MacShane: So far this year Foreign Office funding for projects in Macedonia amounts to £687,000. This money is to fund projects in the fields of stability, conflict prevention and human rights, each with a particular emphasis on inter-ethnic relations. A large

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proportion of this money was given for the construction of the South-East Europe University in Tetovo, a project sponsored by the OSCE to provide higher education in the Albanian language for the first time in Macedonia.

HMG are also backing local projects: £56,160 for a disability rights project and £30,000 for a project against institutional violence.

Foreign and Commonwealth Office funding is in addition to the Department for International Development's pledge of £5 million to provide for technical assistance programmes, over a three-year period, and the European Union's euro 90 million stability assistance programme.

Ministerial Travel

Bob Russell: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when he last travelled on the London underground in the course of his official duties. [3675]

Mr. Straw: I have not travelled on London underground in the course of my official duties since my appointment as Foreign Secretary on 8 June.


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