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National Health Service (Discussions)

Volume 389: debated on Thursday 27 May 1943

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34.

asked the Minister of Health whether he has considered the. announcement by the British Medical Association, published in the "Lancet" for Saturday, 22nd May, of which a copy has been sent to him, about the discussions upon a national health service; and whether he has any statement to make thereon?

35.

asked the Minister of Health the position with regard to his negotiations with the medical profession concerning a full medical service free to all; and when a White Paper will be published?

I would refer my hon. Friends to the answer which I gave yesterday on this subject to my hon. Friend the Member for London University (Sir E. Graham-Little).

In view of the fact that that answer does not refer specifically to the British Medical Association's statement, and in view of their statement that in the opinion of their representative Committee the proposals are quite unacceptable to the great majority of the medical profession, will my right hon. Friend now consider issuing a White Paper setting out the proposals made as a basis of discussion between the medical profession, the local authorities, and the voluntary hospitals, and can he arrange for a debate in this House?

Is it not a fact that the B.M.A. put forward counter proposals of their own and does my right hon. Friend intend to publish those and his own proposals?

I am glad to say that we have had very fruitful discussions in the last few days.

Is it not a fact that the voluntary hospitals do not know what the proposals made by the medical profession and the local authorities are, and that the local authorities do not know what the proposals of th,e other bodies are? Would it not clear the air if the Minister issued a White Paper?

My hon. Friend is misinformed. With regard to the voluntary hospitals, I have received definite and constructive proposals from them only last week.