HC Deb 11 April 1972 vol 834 cc1013-4
12. Dr. Summerskill

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what representations he has received from the General Medical Council asking for amendments of the Medical Act, 1956; and if he will make a statement.

Sir K. Joseph

The General Medical Council and the other organisations represented on the Brynmor Jones Working Party on the composition of the General Medical Council have indicated their acceptance of the Working Party's report. The Government will seek a convenient early opportunity to introduce the legislation to effect the necessary constitutional changes.

Dr. Summerskill

Is it not a fact that the General Medical Council requires the amendment of the Act in order to secure a striking off from the register of any doctor who does not pay the annual £5 retention fee? Eight thousand doctors have already refused to pay the fee. The B.M.A. is opposed to it. If this is carried through, it will have serious consequences for the medical profession.

Sir K. Joseph

Without accepting the allegations in the hon. Lady's supplementary question, I must ask her to await the legislation, the main purpose of which is to alter—to the prescription recommended by the Brynmor Jones working party and accepted by the representative bodies involved in it—the balance of membership of the General Medical Council.