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Volume 981: debated on Friday 21 March 1980

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asked the Secretary of State for Social Services how many extra consultants in each specialty for each region a real growth rate in the National Health Service held at 0·5 per cent. for the coming year will allow; and how many extra consultants such an expansion will allow in each of the eight health areas of Wales.

The deployment of financial resources between specialties and between medical manpower and other forms of health expenditure is a matter for individual health authorities to determine and it is therefore not possible to make the calculations requested. However, as pointed out on the Department's discussion paper "Medical Manpower: the next Twenty Years"—issued in 1978—in the past the overall number of doctors in the hospital service has grown at almost exactly the same rate as the real cost of the service.