HC Deb 27 May 1963 vol 678 cc901-2
20. Mr. Pavitt

asked the Minister of Health what progress has been made in his Department with the preparation of a ten-year plan for the general medical services; when it will be published; and why this sector of the National Health Service has been left until last in his planning programme.

Mr. Powell

The future development of the general medical services is implicit in both the Hospital and the Health and Welfare Plans. I expect advice soon from my Standing Medical Advisory Committee on the future field of work of general practitioners.

Mr. Pavia

Should it not be explicit and not merely implicit? Has not the Ministry consistently said that the general practitioner/family doctor service is the key of the whole Health Service? Is not 90 per cent. of the work done by general practitioners whereas only 11 per cent. of the budget is spent on general practitioners? If these people are the leaders of the Health Service team, should not they have higher priority in the Minister's consideration?

Mr. Powell

They have the highest priority. If it will satisfy the hon. Member, the future development of these services is explicit as well as implicit in the two plans. If the hon. Member reads them he will find that integration, both with the hospital service and with the health and welfare services, is repeatedly brought out.

Mr. Pavitt

Surely the right hon. Gentleman does not think that I have not read those documents? Can he say when the Annis Gillie Committee will report and whether he is waiting for that report before going forward with further plans?

Mr. Powell

I referred to that matter in my original Answer. Both the hospital plan and the health and welfare plan represent a great reinforcement of the resources at the disposal of general practice.