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Doctors (Budgets)

Volume 129: debated on Tuesday 15 March 1988

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To ask the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will estimate the budget controlled each year on average by (a) general practitioners including their own time and the drugs they prescribe, and (b) hospital doctors, including their own time and the drugs they prescribe.

I regret that the information is not available to answer the question in the terms asked.General medical practitioners are independent contractors and do not have budgets to control. Gross payments made to them in England in 1986–87 for the provision of general medical services were £1,131 million. The gross cost to the family practitioner services of the drugs prescribed in 1986–87 was £1,378 million.Determination of individual budgets within hospitals is a matter for each health authority. While medical staff are involved and clinical budgets are being developed, staff of a number of other disciplines (particularly general managers) also share responsibility for budgetary control.The summarised accounts of health authorities in England for 1986–87 show total revenue expenditure on hospital services as £8,255 million. This figure includes most of the total hospital and community health services expenditure on medical staff pay (£1,094 million) and on drugs (£318 million).