HC Deb 20 April 1893 vol 11 cc777-8

I beg to ask the Secretary for Scotland whether his attention has been drawn to a circular issued by the Society of Medical Officers for Health in Scotland as to a proposal to withdraw the requirement that as a condition of participation in the grant for Sanitary Officers the Medical Officers of the larger and more important counties should not engaged in private practice, in which it is stated that the Board of Supervision intimated that, having consulted Lord Lothian, they would be unable, except in the case of the smaller and insular counties, to give their recommendation where a Medical Officer of a county was permitted to engage in private practice; that the Lord Advocate stated that he thought the Scottish Office would not be well advised if they discountenanced the action of the Board of Supervision in endeavouring to get Medical Officers who would give their whole time to their public duties; that the withdrawal of the condition is very inadvisable on the ground of public policy; and whether the suggestions of the society will be adopted in the ease of the combined counties of Ross and Cromarty, and the Medical Officer of Health be required to devote his time exclusively to the duties of his office?


In reply to the hon. Member my attention has been called to the circular issued by the Society of Medical Officers for Health in Scotland, and I am also aware of the other circumstances referred to. As I have already stated in a reply to a question put to me by the hon. Member for the West Division of Renfrewshire, there are various counties in Scotland in which the Medical Officer is not restricted to private practice. I hold the view that Parliament has constituted the County Councils the judges of whether or not the Medical Officers should be permitted to take practice, and, if so, to. what extent, and I am, therefore, not prepared to deal exceptionally with the Counties of Ross and Cromarty.