HC Deb 11 November 1948 vol 457 cc1703-4
22. Mr. Somerville Hastings

asked the Minister of Health whether, in view of the fact that the granting of basic salaries under the National Health Service Act, 1946, is determined to a large extent by doctors who will themselves suffer financially if these are granted, he will take action to relieve these doctors of their invidious position.

Mr. Bevan

It was the doctors themselves who asked for this modification of my original proposal.

Mr. Hastings

Does not my right hon. Friend regard it as contrary to public policy to allow people to help to make decisions in which they are financially interested?

Mr. Bevan

The doctors are always able to make an appeal to me against the decision of the executive council if they feel aggrieved.

Dr. Segal

Is my right hon. Friend aware that the local executive councils are doing their utmost to dissuade doctors from opting for the basic salary; and will he see whether it is possible to create a separate pool out of which these salaries could be paid so that any doctor who wishes to have a salary could have it as a right, and without any means test?

Mr. Bevan

I doubt very much whether the local executive councils are the people who are trying to dissuade doctors from taking the basic salary. It may be that members of the medical profession locally attempt to dissuade the doctors. which is a different matter from the executive councils doing it. But if a doctor feels aggrieved, he may appeal to me. If the profession wants an alteration in the procedure for which it asked itself. it can appeal to me.