asked the Minister of Health what assessment is made of the total amount received by general practitioners within the National Health Service in respect of private patients.
Will the Minister bear in mind that the Pilkington Report advocated that should there be much rise in the amount of private practice by general practitioners, the sums should be included in the central pool? If there has been a rise, is it not possible that doctors have had an increase much higher than the 2½ per cent. which the Minister has tried to pay to other people?
What the Report recommended was that no attempt should be made to calculate or allow for annual fluctuations in the sum unless there was reason to believe that the alteration had been substantial. I am not aware of any reason for believing that there has been substantial alteration.
Is the Minister aware of the claim by the British United Provident Association of a great increase of the number of people paying private fees to doctors? If that is so, does it not mean that there is a case for a substantial increase?