asked the Minister of Health at what date he is proposing to put into operation the scheme whereby it is proposed to apportion the global sum of £66 million which is to be distributed amongst doctors on their retirement in compensation for the goodwill of their practices.
The apportionment will not be possible until the claims of all the doctors have been received and assessed. The final date for the submission of claims has been extended to 31st December, 1950, or, in special circumstances, 28th February, 1951.
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that many of these people have been waiting for over two years, perhaps suffering hardship, for this sum to be distributed, so that they can buy a farm or cottage to which to retire? They want the money as quickly as possible?
Those cases are always met by making a grant of a substantial portion of the sum needed.
Could my right hon. Friend say whether any doctor who leaves the Health Service has any claim on this £66 million?
He has, certainly. There is set aside for him a proper proportion of the £66 million.