HC Deb 10 March 1958 vol 584 cc13-4
18. Mr. Remnant

asked the Minister of Health to what extent he anticipates resignations of dentists from the National Health Service at the end of the 10-year period of operation; and whether he will make a statement.

Mr. Walker-Smith

It is estimated that by 5th July, 1958, there will be about 1,500 dentists in general practice who will have reached age 60 or more and will then be entitled to retire on pension under the National Health Service Superannuation Regulations on completing ten years' service. I am unable to estimate how many of them will avail themselves of this right.

Mr. Remnant

Has my right hon. and learned Friend not received some indication that the number of resignations is likely to be large? On that assumption, what steps has he taken to see that dentists are available in sufficient numbers to secondary schools?

Mr. Walker-Smith

I have not any indication as to what the precise figure is likely to be, but my hon. Friend will know that following the Report of the McNair Committee on Recruitment to the Dental Profession, plans are under discussion to increase the total number of places at the universities for dental students.

Dr. Summerskill

May I ask the Minister what immediate steps are being taken to bring to the attention of the young men and women in the universities the importance of entering the dental profession?

Mr. Walker-Smith

All proper steps are taken, and I think that there is an awareness of the importance of recruitment to the dental profession. The right hon. Lady will be glad to know that there has been a marked increase in the number of candidates for dental places in universities in recent years.