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Doctors (Pay)

Volume 478: debated on Wednesday 25 October 1950

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asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies what is the average increase in pay of the European doctors in the medical service in Malaya and Singapore, comparing 1950 with 1938; and what is the rise in the cost of living for Europeans in those territories as between 1938 and 1950.

For most doctors, the average increase is between 50 and 60 per cent. For those in the highest posts, between 30 and 50 per cent. In August, 1950, the Singapore cost of living index for Europeans was 110 per cent. above the 1938 level; in June, 1950, the corresponding index for the Federation of Malaya stood at 142 per cent. above 1939.

In view of the difficulty of recruiting British doctors, and also the fact that there is a shortage of European doctors in Malaya, would the right hon. Gentleman reconsider the scale of payments and the financial attractions to the service? If he cannot do that will he give consideration to recruiting European doctors in those countries where there is a surplus of doctors?

I have answered before not only about Malaya but about other Colonial Territories. There is a shortage of doctors in the service of the Colonial Territories everywhere. We are doing our very best to recruit doctors wherever we can find them.