HC Deb 05 August 1943 vol 391 cc2432-3
7. Mr. Messer

asked the Minister of Health whether he has considered the report which has been sent to him concerning the case of Miss Sarah Ann Watts, who summoned a doctor who was unable to attend until after Miss Watts's death; to what extent this failure to attend was due to lack of arrangements made under the panel scheme; and what steps he proposes to take to ensure that panel patients shall receive treatment when their panel doctor is called up for national service?

Miss Horsbrugh

My right hon. Friend understands that this case will shortly come up for investigation by the appropriate sub-committee of the Devonshire Insurance Committee, and he must await the outcome. Arrangements are already made to ensure that panel patients may receive medical treatment when their doctor is called up for national service.

Mr. Messer

Is the hon. Lady aware of the fact that owing to the calling-up of medical practitioners there are areas of the country where there are no doctors and there can be no arrangements for patients who require treatment?

Miss Horsbrugh

If the hon. Gentleman will be good enough to send me the names of areas where there are no doctors, I shall be glad to look into the matter.

Mr. Rhys Davies

Will not the Department look into this problem again, because I submitted some time ago the case of a local authority which was getting alarmed because there were very few doctors left in the neighbourhood?

Miss Horsbrugh

I agree that there is a shortage of doctors. We all know that the numbers of doctors required for the Forces is increasing as our Army goes forward. If there is any area in which there are no doctors, I should like to be informed of it.