HC Deb 28 July 1845 vol 82 cc1168-70

On the Order of the Day for going into Committee on the Physic and Surgery Bill,

Sir J. Graham

rose to state the alterations he proposed to make in this Bill. It was his intention to move that the House should go into Committee pro formâ, in order that his proposed Amendments might be printed, and it was his intention to proceed with the measure in the next Session of Parliament. The right hon. Baronet went on to state that it was his intention to adhere to his proposal to incorporate the general practitioners, and that in England there should, in all cases, be two examinations before the parties should be admitted as general practitioners. He also adhered to the provision which made the age at which the examination should commence twenty-two years. But, instead of the examination before a joint board of physicians and surgeons, he proposed that the first examination should be by a board of general practitioners, and that subsequently there should be an examination before a joint board of surgeons and physicians. Those who passed both examinations were then to be registered as general practitioners, and to become members of the College of Surgeons. He further proposed that the fees for examination by the Colleges of Physicians and Surgeons should be raised, so as to pay the examiners properly, and provide for the museum and library, &c. of the College of Surgeons, to which the candidates would belong, viz. 5l. 5s. for the College of Physicians, 5l. 5s. for the College of Surgeons, and 10l. 10s. for the museum, library, and general expenses. He proposed also that the examinations in Scotland and Ireland by the Colleges of Physicians and Surgeons should be kept distinct, in order to equalize the number of examinations for the license of the general practitioner in the three kingdoms. On removing from one kingdom to another, all classes of practitioners to be admitted members of the corresponding College in the kingdom to which they so remove, without further examination, but on payment of the same fees as if they had been originally examined and admitted members of that College. Army and naval surgeons and those intended to practise in the Colonies need be examined only by the Colleges of Physicians and Surgeons (besides the army and naval medical boards in the case of army and naval men); but he did not propose that they should thereby acquire the right of practising in England within five years, unless they had also passed the College of General Practitioners. Those who were now practising in England with Scotch or Irish diplomas as general practitioners, to be admitted to register as general practitioners without examination. He further proposed that the clauses relating to Universities should be struck out, and no restriction imposed either as to the time of residence necessary for granting degrees, or the assumption of the titles of graduation. With respect to the nomination of the members of the Council of Health, he proposed that the number should be reduced from nineteen to, at the highest, thirteen, including the Secretary of State; and that the Crown should have the right of nomination. Application had been made to him to advise the Crown to grant a supplementary charter to the College of Surgeons. That matter was now before the Crown, and arrangements had been made which, he believed, would induce him to advise Her Majesty to grant the supplementary charter.

Bill went through Committee pro formâ.

Mr. Wakley

very much feared that the changes proposed by the right hon. Gentleman would not be satisfactory. The right hon. Gentleman had certainly taken great pains in reference to the subject, and the public were indebted to him for the services rendered them on this question; but, instead of simplifying his plan by the proposals he had now made, he (Mr. Wakley) was afraid that the additional number of examinations—the double examinations as to Scotland and Ireland—would not be satisfactory. The profession, however, would have an opportunity of considering the question during the recess, and he hoped that all parties would concur in bringing about a satisfactory conclusion to this very important, but extremely difficult question.

Bill as amended to be printed.

House adjourned at two o'clock.