HC Deb 29 July 1957 vol 574 cc850-1
22. Dr. D. Johnson

asked the Minister of Health if he is aware of the number of qualified doctors who are emigrating to appointments in the Commonwealth and the United States of America owing to not being able to find employment in the National Health Service and if he will make an inquiry into this situation.

Mr. Vaughan-Morgan

It is no new thing for some doctors from this country to take appointments overseas. Figures of the number doing so are not available, but I will willingly consider any further statistics which my hon. Friend can produce. The report of the Committee which has been inquiring into future requirements for doctors and medical students is expected shortly.

Dr. Johnson

I am not at the moment able to produce statistics, but might I none the less ask my hon. Friend to take careful note of what is undoubtedly a drift overseas, including to the United States, on the part of many of our more competent doctors? Might I inform him of at least one case of a very well trained and experienced doctor who returned from overseas, was unable to find a place in the National Health Service after searching for a year or eighteen months, and has now obtained a very excellent appointment in the United States in his specialty as a pediatrician, a post he was unable to obtain here?

Mr. Vaughan-Morgan

I note my hon. Friend's remarks.

Dr. Summerskill

Would the hon. Gentleman say that, whatever health scheme was in operation today, the supply of doctors would still exceed the demand?

Mr. B. Harrison

As large numbers of doctors are coming here from the Commonwealth, will my hon. Friend do absolutely nothing to stop this exchange, which is of mutual advantage?

Mr. Vaughan-Morgan

I entirely agree with my hon. Friend's remarks.

Mr. Grimond

If the Parliamentary Secretary is satisfied that there is a real surplus of doctors, will he draw the attention of the Secretary of State for Scotland to the fact that there are certain islands in my constituency which are without doctors?

Mr. Vaughan-Morgan

I have not spoken in quite such categorical terms. What I said was that the Report is expected shortly.

Back to