HC Deb 06 December 1967 vol 755 cc1438-9
30. Mr. Wright

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland when he intends to recommend the application to the Highlands and Islands of the proposals of the Birsay Committee.

Mr. Millan

My right hon. Friend has invited the observations of the medical profession and other bodies on the Birsay Report and proposes to consider their views before making up his mind about the Committee's major recommendations. Legislation now before the House does, however, give effect to two of the Committee's suggestions.

Mr. Wright

Is the Secretary of State including in his considerations the methods of remuneration for general practitioners in the Highlands and Islands?

Mr. Millan

Yes. That is one of the things being considered. We are meeting representatives of the general medical practitioners next week to discuss a number of matters, and that will probably be included.

Mr. Grimond

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that as well as the medical profession there is the public whom it serves to be considered and that there are certain objections from certain areas in the Highlands and Islands to certain suggestions in the Report of this Committee? Will he give an assurance that those objections will be considered? Will any further opportunity be given to the public as well as to medical profession to express views on this Report?

Mr. Millan

The public has already expressed its views about these matters. At the moment, the Secretary of State has no proposals to withdraw services, but all the matters which the right hon. Gentleman has mentioned will certainly be taken into account.

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