HC Deb 03 December 1973 vol 865 cc893-4
10. Mr. Ellis

asked the Secretary of State for Wales what representations he has had from medical bodies about the composition of area health authorities in Wales.

Mr. Gibson-Watt

My right hon. and learned Friend has had a small number of representations, mainly about the appointment of local medically qualified members to the Clwyd Area Health Authority.

Mr. Ellis

Is the Minister of State aware that many people believe that the major failings of the National Health Service can be traced to the over-representation of doctors, and particularly of consultants, in its administration? Does not the hon. Gentleman agree that in future greater emphasis on preventive medicine, based on the general practitioner service, allied to cottage hospitals and clinics, would be advantageous and that therefore any necessary medical representation on health boards should be preponderantly general practitioner representation?

Mr. Gibson-Watt

This is not an easy matter. I, personally, and many other people, went to great lengths to try to find the right answer. Every nomination was very carefully considered. Because the number of appointments which could be made was small, many who were admirably suited to membership could not be appointed. Of the 10 members appointed by the Secretary of State to the Clwyd Area Health Authority, three were doctors.