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Volume 641: debated on Friday 5 May 1961

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asked the Minister of Health if his attention has been drawn to the Ninth Report of the United Nations World Health Organisation Expert Committee on Mental Health, which deals with the under graduate teaching of psychiatry; and what steps he proposes to take to bring its conclusions to the notice of those responsible for the medical curriculum.

I have no responsibility in this field.

Well, whether the Minister has direct responsibility or not, would he not appreciate that some action along the very modest lines which this Report recommends is an essential prerequisite to getting the psychiatric manpower which he will need in order to man the mental health services of this country, and could he not do something, at any rate in an informal way, in bringing this Report to the attention of those responsible for medical education?

I recognise the importance of strengthening in the National Health Service the element of psychiatric treatment and the psychiatric professional element, but that does not entitle me as Minister of Health to express an opinion—and I am sure that this is a right principle—upon the medical curriculum.