HC Deb 11 March 1963 vol 673 cc953-4
15. Mr. Pavitt

asked the Minister of Health how many flats will be available in the two blocks adjacent to the 51 single flats in the rebuilt St. Thomas's Hospital; and what policy the board of governors have regarding the ratio of single to married quarters.

Mr. Braine

126, Sir: there will be no fixed ratio.

Mr. Pavitt

Does the hon. Gentleman realise that this is the fourth time I have put a probing Question on this matter and that each time the Answer has been highly unsatisfactory? Is he aware that there has been considerable disquiet in the medical profession, particularly among resident doctors who are married, about the way they are being treated and the possibilities they have of living a normal married life in the hospital service? If a teaching hospital such as St. Thomas's cannot decide a ratio before these flats are provided, does not this mean that doctors applying for resident jobs at St. Thomas's will never be aware whether or not they are being discriminated against because they are married? Will he try to adopt a policy which will not only apply to St. Thomas's but give a lead to the hospital service generally?

Mr. Braine

I am not expected to understand the motives which lead the hon. Gentleman to put his Question down. The answer to his supplementary question is that the board is aware of the importance of making married quarters available and it has this under active consideration now. The board has not fixed a ratio of single to married quarters because the number of married doctors resident at any given time must vary and, therefore, a flexible arrangement is required.