HC Deb 01 July 1963 vol 680 cc19-20
30. Mr. K. Robinson

asked the Minister of Health what recent discussions he has had with the medical profession regarding alternative methods of reimbursing general practitioners' practice expenses, or any other proposals for changing existing pool arrangements.

Mr. Powell

None, Sir. The present methods were accepted by the Government and the profession in 1960 following the Royal Commission Report. The Review Body recently recommended no change.

Mr. Robinson

Why has the right hon. Gentleman not had discussions? Is he aware that there is increasing evidence of dissatisfaction in the medical profession with the present arrangements? Is it not the right hon. Gentleman's duty at any rate to encourage the introduction of a better system to promote the highest standards of general practice?

Mr. Powell

The method of remuneration of the medical profession is a matter of agreement between the profession and the Government. At present it is covered by the agreement following the Royal Commission's Report, and that was looked at by the Review Body recently. It reported that there should be no change, and this has been accepted by the Government.

Mr. Rankin

Does the right hon. Gentleman not agree that when it is first announced that an increase of 14 per cent. is coming to the medical profession, and particularly the general practitioners, and it works out in the end at only 7 per cent., that system of remuneration is something which he ought to look at?

Mr. Powell

It does not work out at anything of the sort. It works out at a 14 per cent. increase in remuneration from public sources.

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