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Doctors' Lists

Volume 958: debated on Tuesday 21 November 1978

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asked the Secretary of State for Social Services whether, in the reply on 24th October 1978 by the Minister of State to a Question from the honourable Member for Goole, Official Report, columns 923–4, the average numbers of patients are the actual ratios of patients to general practitioners in an area; and what, in the same answer, is meant by "elderly doctors".

The figures showing average numbers of patients per general practitioner, used by the Medical Practices Committee for classifying practice areas, are arrived at by comparing the total number of patients on the doctors' lists in the locality—adjusted to take account of known local inflation in list sizes—with the number of doctors practising, plus one additional doctor. "Certain elderly doctors", in my previous reply, meant doctors who are over 65 and are single-handed with lists of 700 or fewer.In taking decisions on individual applications for admission to medical lists the Medical Practices Committee takes many factors into account as well as the statistics described in these replies, and I shall write to my hon. Friend about this.