HC Deb 24 February 1966 vol 725 cc612-3
23. Mr. Shepherd

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he is aware that no instruction in contraceptive methods is given to students at medical schools and that students are, in the main, left to pick up what information they can in order to meet the needs of their patients; and whether he will take steps to ensure that medical schools give students specific instruction in this matter.

Mr. Prentice

No, Sir. I would refer the hon. Member to my reply to his Question on this topic on 13th December last.

Mr. Shepherd

In view of the importance of this subject, why is it that the hon. Gentleman refuses to take any action? Is he telling the House that he is going to pay out these very large sums of money yet have no control whatever over the efficiency of the instruction?

Mr. Prentice

No, it does not go as far as that. The position regarding these schools was laid down in the Medical Act of 1956, introduced by hon. Members opposite, with the support of all parties. It laid a general responsibility on the General Medical Council for the standards of those entering the profession and left it to the universities to decide matters of curriculum. The universities obviously bear in mind the standards laid down by the G.M.C. This system does not allow Ministers of the Crown to tell the universities what should be in the curriculum of each medical school.

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