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Hospital Registrars

Volume 481: debated on Thursday 30 November 1950

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82.

asked the Minister of Health whether, in view of the professional and other anxieties about the supply of consultants, he will suspend and reconsider his recent circular about appointments in the grades of senior registrars and registrars.

86.

asked the Minister of Health whether he can make a statement on the recent order of his Department instructing hospitals to reduce the numbers of registrars.

87.

asked the Minister of Health whether he will withdraw his proposals for an immediate cut in hospital registrar establishments with a view to putting forward an alternative scheme which will cause less hardship to those concerned, particularly those trainees whose careers have already been seriously affected by their war service.

This circular, which has been grossly misrepresented, was issued after full consultation with the profession's representatives. Its object is in the interests of the profession itself—to secure a proper relationship between the numbers of training posts for future specialists and the number of specialist posts likely to available. In estimating the latter it allows for a reasonable annual expansion over and above mere replacements in present posts, and the numbers of training posts will be reviewed as and when further expansion occurs in later years. The urgency of the circular is that the number of trainees has already risen to nearly twice the number needed to produce the specialists likely to be required and about four times the pre-war number, a situation thoroughly unfair to all concerned. The circular was not prompted by economy—indeed, it provides for alternative appointments if necessary for the work of the hospital.

84.

asked the Minister of Health how many posts of registrar and senior registrar respectively, in hospitals in the North-West Metropolitan Region, will be abolished, if his recent circular is fully implemented; and by what measures it is proposed to avoid reducing either the standards of care and treatment for the patients, or the number of properly-staffed beds.

About 240 and 290 respectively (including the figures for the teaching hospitals in the area). As regards the second part of the Question, I would refer the hon. Member to my reply to similar questions today.

90.

asked the Minister of Health what prospects of suitable employment are open to those 1,100 hospital registrars who will become redundant as the result of the proposed cut in establishment over and above the 700 appointments which are vacant in the Services and Colonial Medical Services.

Each existing senior registrar and registrar will complete his present year of appointment. Afterwards a senior registrar whose appointment is not renewed but whose services are still needed may be offered a similar temporary hospital appointment for one year. Others and registrars can—as has always been the case where appointments in these training grades have not been renewed—apply to set up in general practice, possibly supplemented by a part-time clinical assistantship at a hospital, or for appointments in civilian medical practice in this country as well as in the fields referred to by the hon. Member, or for university and hospital appointments abroad.