HC Deb 17 June 1963 vol 679 cc16-7
22. Mr. Pavitt

asked the Minister of Health what was the total deduction from the central pool in respect of payments made to general practitioners by local health authorities for each of the last three years.

The Minister of Health (Mr. Enoch Powell)

I will, with permission, circulate the information in the Official Report.

Mr. Pavitt

I am pleased to see the Minister in his place for this brief period. Can he say whether these figures indicate that there has been a considerable shifting of the burden of the cost of the National Health Service from the Exchequer to the local rates? Further, is not it unfair to general practitioners in that they have been paid for 3 million inoculations last year and then, in the final settlement, the money has again been taken away from them?

Mr. Powell

The figures do not bear out that general contention, and, in any case, it is agreed that the average net remuneration of practitioners should include what they receive from all official sources.

Mr. Rankin

Has this situation anything to do with the fact that the 14 per cent. increase which the general practitioners were supposed to get is now being reduced to 7 per cent.?

Mr. Powell

No, it cannot have because this question refers to the past.

Following is the information:

Payments from all local authorities for the last three years for which figures are available were as follows:

1959–60 £1,763,547
1960–61 £1,344,725
1961–62 £2,007,960

The figure for 1962–63 is not yet known. Separate figures are not available for payments from local health authorities.

23. Mr. Pavitt

asked the Minister of Health if he will ask the review body on doctors' salaries to make a special study of the differentials existing between family doctors and consultants with a view to including a recommendation on this subject in its next report.

Mr. Powell

No, Sir. It is open to the Review Body to do this, if it sees fit, without being asked by the Government.

Mr. Pavitt

Is the Minister aware that there is considerable concern among family doctors about this matter, and does he realise that the recent pay award, owing to the different methods whereby consultants and general practitioners are paid, has meant that the differential has widened, the 14 per cent. award given to consultants having worked out, in fact, to only 7 per cent. for general practitioners? Will the right hon. Gentleman again consider asking the Review Body to examine the matter further?

Mr. Powell

This was looked at by both the Royal Commission and the Review Body.