HC Deb 16 May 1878 vol 240 cc23-4

asked the Secretary of State for War, If it is a fact that the garrison of Woolwich has been so denuded of medical officers that the Government has been obliged to sanction the employment of private practitioners to assist in taking medical charge of the soldiers and their families; whether many other garrisons have not been left short of Army medical men; and, whether it is true that more than £5,000 is required to pay private medical practitioners in attending the troops in the field at the Cape?


Sir, I am informed that the garrison at Woolwich has its full complement of medical officers, and no private medical practitioners are employed. Other garrisons, however, are short of medical officers. This is in some measure due to a number having been withdrawn temporarily for the purpose of undergoing special field training with the Army Hospital Corps at Aldershot. The increase of £5,000 referred to was taken for the employment of civil surgeons at the Cape, as it was found a more economical and desirable arrangement than an augmentation to the staff, as the services of these gentlemen will be dispensed with when no longer required.