HC Deb 06 March 1946 vol 420 cc329-30
48. Colonel Stoddart-Scott

asked the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster how many doctors there are per thousand of the population in the British zone in Austria; and how many doctors there are in Vienna compared with a prewar date.

The Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster (Mr. John Hynd)

In the British Zone of Austria, the average works out at .934 per thousand of the population, as compared with 816 before the War. In the city of Vienna, there are today some 2,800 doctors, as compared with 4,100 before the war, but, taking into account the decrease in population, the proportion of doctors has only been slightly reduced.

Colonel Stoddart-Scott

May I ask the Minister how he accounts for the answer he gave last week when he said there was no shortage and no diminution of doctors? Will he not do everything possible to encourage those Austrian doctors practising in this country to go back to their own country, where they are so very much needed?

Mr. Hynd

In the reply I gave last week, I said nothing about a diminution of doctors. I said there was no general shortage, and the figures I have given, I think, bear that out. The comparative position, which will be of interest to the hon. and gallant Member, is that in 1946 in the British zone the percentage of doctors is .9 per thousand, while in prewar years it was .8. In Vienna, the figure is 1.9 per thousand today, against 2.1 per thousand prewar. The comparative figures for this country are very much lower.

Captain Crookshank

Would it not be much simpler if the figures were given the other way round—one doctor to so many people? I find it hard to envisage what .9 means.

Mr. Hynd

It is a question of comparing .8 against .9, which I should have thought was fairly simple. The figures for the prewar period were one doctor per 1,225 of the population, and, today, one doctor per 1,070 of the population, and, in Vienna, one doctor for every 468 of the population, prewar, and, today, one doctor to every 521 of the population.

Mr. Peter Freeman

Is the hon. Gentleman aware of the great need for doctors in Vienna, where there is a high mortality rate among children under one year of age?

Mr. Hynd

May I quote the figures? In Vienna today, the doctors represent one per 521 of the population and in this country one per 1,234.

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