§ 42 and 43. Mr. Janner
asked the Minister of Health (1) how much Exchequer contribution has been deducted annually from the General Practitioners' Central Fund since 1955; and how it was computed;
24 (2) what is the relationship between the Exchequer contribution annually deducted from the General Practitioners' Central Fund and the employers' contribution to the National Health Service compulsory superannuation scheme; and how he proposes to increase the employers' contribution so as not to reduce the sum to be distributed to general practitioners.
§ Mr. Walker-Smith
I will, with permission, answer these Questions together, and I apologise for the length of the reply.
The amount of the Exchequer superannuation contribution deducted from the Central Pool is the aggregate of the employers' superannuation contributions paid by the Executive Councils for the general medical practitioners with whom they are in contract. The amounts involved were, for Great Britain:
The calculation of the Central Pool for later years is not yet complete.
£ 1955–56 3,529,607 1956–57 3,569,494 1957–58 3,809,181
The superannuation position of practitioners cannot be considered further until the Report of the Royal Commission on Doctors' and Dentists' Remuneration has been received and considered. I have, however, given an assurance that the supplementary employer's contribution which is being introduced to help liquidate the deficiency in the Health Service Superannuation Scheme will not have the effect of reducing the current net remuneration of general practitioners. The detailed method of achieving this has still to be discussed with the profession.
§ Mr. Janner
In considering this matter, will the right hon. and learned Gentleman take into account the fact that the proportion which is being deducted, which is 8 per cent., was given as 2 per cent. less by the actuary in 1955? In view of that, will he refund to the general practitioners the loss they have incurred thereby?
§ Mr. Walker-Smith
I do not think that that point arises. The general situation which the hon. Gentleman 25 wishes to safeguard is really dealt with in the penultimate sentence of my Answer.