HC Deb 11 March 1919 vol 113 cc1061-2

asked the Secretary of State for War whether, in view of the fact that there are still 9,593 doctors and 20,141 nurses in the Army, he will arrange for at least 500 of the former and 2,000 of the latter to be granted immediately indefinite leave pending formal demobilisation, so that their services may be utilised in coping with the serious amount of illness amongst the civil population?

Captain GUEST

As my right hon. Friend explained to the hon. Member a week ago, every endeavour is being made to release as many doctors and nurses as can be spared. It is considered that if the proposal to give leave to doctors and nurses pending demobilisation were concurred in, it would seriously interfere with the steps that have been taken to release all those whose services can be spared. The latest returns available give the total number of trained and untrained nurses demobilised as 7,441 since the Armistice, and steps have been taken to demobilise large numbers of medical officers. This has now become possible owing to the removal of certain restrictions which delayed demobilisation.


Does the right hon. Gentleman realise that approximately 270,000 nurses would be required for the civil population if they had the same proportion of nurses as in the Army, and that the total number of trained nurses is only approximately 40,000 or 50,000 altogether?

Captain GUEST

I was not aware of those figures.

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