HC Deb 23 July 1962 vol 663 cc941-2
24. Mr. Milne

asked the Minister of Health what progress has been made in the consideration of methods of estimating the scale of net emigration of doctors from Great Britain; and to what extent the National Health Service has been affected by the departure of doctors for Saskatchewan in particular.

Mr. Powell

I am sending the hon. Member a copy of a recent statement. Not appreciably.

Mr. Milne

Is the Minister aware that the events in Saskatchewan, in particular, are being followed with close interest in this country, and will he give the Canadian Government all the encouragement he can by demonstrating to them that had the United Kingdom Government at the time of the introduction of the Health Service yielded to the same kind of pressure we might have been without a Health Service here?

Mr. Powell

I do not think that that in any way arises on this Question.

Dame Patricia Hornsby-Smith

In order to get a fair analysis on the Question, would my right hon. Friend also give the figures of the Commonwealth and alien doctors who are working in the Health Service here?

Mr. Powell

Not without notice, but I will write to my right hon. Friend giving the figures. They are undoubtedly an important element in the staffing of the hospital service, but the British staffing of the hospital service has also increased, and is steadily increasing.

Mr. K. Robinson

Can the Minister be a little more forthcoming in reply to the first half of my hon. Friend's Question? Many of us have read his speech, but we should like to know what steps he is taking to find out the figures of emigration, and what progress he has made so far.

Mr. Powell

The evidence is such as to make it clear that the scale of emigration is not a serious factor in the staffing of the Health Service.

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