asked the Minister of Health in view of the shortage of civilian doctors in the United Kingdom what arrangements are being made to form any mobile units during this coming winter.
:I am afraid that the shortage of civilian doctors is itself an obstacle to organising in advance any units such as the hon. and gallant Member suggests, although I have no doubt that, if the need arises, mutual assistance will be arranged locally. I have arranged with the Service Ministers for the loan of serving medical officers as far as their resources permit, if an urgent need arises.
asked the Minister of Health if he has an estimate as to how many civilian doctors per head of population there will be available in the United Kingdom this winter.
The present proportion of civilian doctors of all kinds to population is about one to 1,350, or in the case of general practitioners only, one to 2,500. The extent to which this position will be improved during the winter depends on the number of doctors to be released from the Forces, which, as stated in reply to the hon. and gallant Member for Bucklow (Lieutenant W. Shepherd) on Tuesday, is receiving the urgent conisderation of Ministers.