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Ophthalmic Surgeons

Volume 407: debated on Monday 23 June 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) how many ophthalmic surgeons were practising in the UK in each of the last 11 years; and if he will make a statement; [119708](2) what measures he is taking to increase the number of ophthalmic surgeons within the United Kingdom; and if he will make a statement. [119709]

The table shows how many ophthalmic surgical medical staff including consultant surgeons were practising in England in each of the last 11 years. Information on Scotland and Wales are matters for devolved Administration. Information for Northern Ireland is the responsibility of Ministers in the Northern Ireland Office, while the institutions there are dissolved.Consultants in ophthalmology have increased by 18 per cent. between September 1997 and March 2002. We expect to see further increases in the number of trained specialists available to take up consultant posts. Latest projections suggest that there will be around 820 consultants in ophthalmology by September 2004. This is part of the substantial planned expansion of the consultant workforce.As part of our radical approach to free up the training system in 2003–04, trusts will have the opportunity to fund up to 40 additional training posts in ophthalmology. This will support further increases in consultant numbers.

Hospital ophthalmology medical staff, in England: September 1991 to March 2002
Numbers headcount1
OphthalmologyOf which: Consultants
199121,641466
19921,536468
19931,686507
19941,659489
19951,739530
19961,862564
19971,915580
19981,966598
19992,021628
2000 (March)2,053651
20012,070683
2002n/a687
n/a = Data not available
1 Data as at 31 September each year except 2002 as at 31 March

2 Figures rounded to nearest whole number (correction factor has been applied)

Source:

Department of Health Medical and Dental workforce census