HC Deb 14 April 1943 vol 388 cc1196-7
24. Mr. Bellenger

asked the First Lord of the Admiralty whether the medical services of female medical officers are confined to members of the Women's Royal Naval Service; and whether officers and ratings of the Royal Navy can be compelled to undergo medical examination by female medical officers?

The First Lord of the Admiralty (Mr. A. V. Alexander)

As things stand at present, it would be very exceptional for women medical officers to examine personnel other than members of the Women's Royal Naval Service and the Nursing Services, but in an emergency, if a male medical officer were not available, it might be necessary for an officer or rating of the Royal Navy to undergo examination or treatment by a woman medical officer.

Mr. Bellenger

Would it be only in a case where a male medical officer was not available?

Mr. Alexander

I should think that would be the position. We have not a large number of women medical officers.

Sir Francis Fremantle

Has not the First Lord appointed only one female medical officer so far?

Mr. Stephen

Do male medical officers examine women in the W.R.N.S.?

Mr. Alexander

Yes, Sir.

Dr. Summerskill

They all do.

Mr. Thorne

Why all this fuss about female medical officers? Is it not a fact that a large Turkish and vapour baths in Stockholm is managed only by women?