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Volume 893: debated on Wednesday 11 June 1975

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asked the Secretary of State for Social Services how many minors were sterilised on social grounds

taking to improve the supply of adequately trained and fully proficient doctors both for the hospital and general practitioner services in the West Midlands.

No. I already have the necessary information on the medical staffing position in the West Midlands, and elsewhere. The registration of doctors for practice in this country is the statutory responsibility of the General Medical Council. The council is introducing tests later this month of clinical and language proficiency for overseas doctors seeking temporary registration. Additionally, overseas-trained doctors are normally required to complete a period of supervised attachment before employment in National Health Service hospitals. The Merrison Report acknowledged the contribution made by such doctors and made recommendations about future conditions for them to practise in this country, which are under consideration by the council, the profession and the Government. I am concerned both to reduce the country's over-dependence on overseas doctors by expanding the medical schools and to reduce disparities between regions.