HC Deb 18 March 1963 vol 674 c17
17. Mr. Kirk

asked the Minister of Health what consideration he has given to the recommendation made to him by the General Medical Services Committee of the British Medical Association that a dispensing doctor should retain the right to continue dispensing for his patients if and when a chemist starts a business in that doctor's practice area.

Mr. Powell

I have concluded that this is contrary to the intention of the Act.

Mr. Kirk

Will my right hon. Friend bear in mind that quite a number of doctors, particularly in rural areas, are suffering a fairly hefty drop in income as a result of this? Even if it is contrary to the Act, can he not find some way of easing the pain a little?

Mr. Powell

I see the difficulty where the general practitioner has been meeting the dispensing needs of an area and when they are met in future, as is the normal case, by the pharmaceutical service. There is a period of notice, but I do not think in principle there can be any alteration in the present arrangements.

Sir H. Linstead

Would not my right hon. Friend agree that there is much to be said for accepting the basic principle of the Service, which is that the practice of medicine should be in the hands of medical practitioners and the practice of pharmacy in the hands of pharmacists?

Mr. Powell

I agree, and that is what I referred to as the intention of the Act.

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