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General Practitioners

Volume 957: debated on Thursday 9 November 1978

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asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will now ask each regional health authority to prepare information about the use of commercial deputising services used by general practitioners.

Consent to use a deputising service is given by family practitioner committees and the task of preparing information about such services would fall to those authorities. It is important that family practitioner committees concentrate on the implementation of the code of practice for deputising services which was issued in April, and I have not yet considered it necessary to ask for returns of information from them.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will list in the Official Report the elements within a productivity settlement for the pay of general practitioners which could be allowed in excess of 5 per cent.

The Review Body on Doctors' and Dentists' Remuneration recommends the level of fees and allowances for general practitioners and in its latest, eighth, report says

"The concept of a ' self-financing productivity scheme' is not and cannot be appropriate to the basis of remuneration for a profession whose continuing concern is with the prevention and control of disease and with the care and treatment of patients."
Moreover, the Review Body's 1978 recommendations, which have been accepted by the Government, are intended to provide doctors, by stages in 1979 and 1980, with fully up-to-date levels of remuneration by comparison with other appropriate professional groups.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services how many general practitioners there are to every 100,000 of the population in each region in the United Kingdom.

The number of genera; practitioners to every 100,000 of the population in each region in England and in Wales on 1st July 1976, the last year for which appropriate population figures are available, is shown in the table below.

England and Wales
Region and Number per 100,000 Population
East Anglia44
North West Thames49
North East Thames47
South East Thames46
South West Thames47
South Western47
West Midlands43
North Western42
* Unrestricted principals only.
I shall send my hon. Friend the information in respect of Scotland and Northern Ireland.