§ 5. Mr. Forman
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services whether he has 251 any plans to issue any ministerial guidelines to doctors regarding clinical freedom within the National Health Service.
§ Mr. Forman
Is the Minister aware that hon. Members on the Opposition Benches are very grateful for that answer, because we feel that any further erosion of clinical freedom would be the last straw for the medical profession, whose morale has already been seriously damaged by this Government's policy?
§ Mr. Christopher Price
Does the Minister agree that clinical freedom has to be considered in relation to the professional freedom of other professions within the National Health Service? The real problem is to persuade the various professions in the service to work together in a multi-disciplinary approach rather than to insist on their own freedom being more important than that of others.
§ Dr. Vaughan
Does the Minister agree that fear of a loss of clinical freedom is the reason for doctors leaving the country? In view of the figures published in the Daily Mail, showing that more than 1,000 doctors left this country last year, what action does he propose to take?
§ Dr. Owen
The reasons why people emigrate are multifarious. No matter what anybody says, no doctor is motivated into leaving this country by the threat to clinical freedom. That is a canard that was put around in 1946, when the National Health Service Act was introduced. No one believes that any of these claims were substantiated in the light of history.
§ Mr. Fernyhough
In view of the substance of this question, can the Minister say whether any full-time consultants and doctors employed in looking after our 252 Service men have made any complaints that they are in any way inhibited in terms of clinical freedom?