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Registered Doctors

Volume 462: debated on Thursday 3 March 1949

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asked the Minister of Health the total number of doctors registered with the National Health Service in the first six months from 5th July last, or nearest date; and what are the average salaries earned by doctors concerned in that period.

The total number of general practitioners on the medical list at 5th July was 18,165. Six hundred and sixty-one other practitioners have been admitted since then and approximately the same number have left for a variety of reasons. I have no information as to the average salaries earned by doctors in that period.

Am I justified in concluding that these doctors are now receiving much greater remuneration than before the Act came into force?

I must see how the average turns out before I am able to reply to that question. Certain payments are, of course, made to doctors outside the National Health Service Act.

Can the Minister say whether payments have been made to doctors for all midwifery and temporary residence cases which they have treated?

If the hon. and gallant Gentleman will put that question down I will try to obtain the information.

Can the Minister give to the House the percentage figures of doctors already in the scheme compared with the number who are entitled to join it, and is he satisfied that the number of medical practitioners in Britain is sufficient to meet the needs of the extra demands made upon them by the National Health scheme?

The two supplementary questions, of course, go substantially outside the original Question. There are more general practitioners taking part in the administration than we estimated for at the beginning. There is, of course, a general overall shortage. Perhaps there is a shortage of doctors in some places and a surplus in other places. [HON. MEMBERS: "No!"] There is a surplus of doctors in some places and, as they redistribute themselves, there ought to be adequate doctors for all.