HC Deb 10 April 1967 vol 744 c728
29. Mr. Bob Brown

asked the Minister of Labour if he is satisfied that the Ministry of Labour Appointed Factory Doctor Service is fully developed to meet the needs of industry in the Northern Region; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Fernyhough

A sub-committee of my right hon. Friend's Industrial Health Advisory Committee has recently reviewed the Appointed Factory Doctor Service. The Report of this sub-committee, which was published in April, 1966, is now being considered, together with the comments of interested organisations on it.

Mr. Brown

While thanking my hon. Friend for that information, may I ask him to appreciate that many people in the northern region are far from satisfied with the standard of the doctor services in factories? Will he seek to really expedite action in this matter?

Mr. Fernyhough

We are anxious to see the best possible service being given, but this must be balanced with the National Health Service, otherwise we would be merely robbing Peter to pay Paul. I believe that most hon. Members would agree that we want the best system that we can have without it in any way detracting from the general service made available to the community.

Mr. Scott

When are we likely to have the Government's views on the future of the Appointed Factory Doctor Service as well as on the Youth Employment Service, which is somewhat linked to the former?

Mr. Fernyhough

I cannot at the moment say when those views will be given. Negotiations are going on with the interested parties, but I assure the House that they will not be unnecessarily delayed.