HC Deb 20 April 1978 vol 948 cc819-20

'(1) Subject to the provisions of Part I of Schedule 5 to this Act, on the day appointed for the coming into operation of sections 22 to 28 below—

  1. (a) section 25 of the Medical Act 1956 (which provides for the temporary registration of medical practitioners), and the reference to that section in section 26 of that Act, shall cease to have effect: and
  2. (b) the register of temporarily registered medical practitioners shall be closed.

(2) Subject to the provisions of Part II of Schedule 5 to this Act, on the day appointed for the coming into operation of sections 18 to 21 below, sections 18 to 24 and 26 of the Medical Act 1956 (which provide for the registration of Commonwealth and foreign practitioners) and the Medical Practitioners and Pharmacists Act 1947 (which, so far as still in force, makes similar provision) shall cease to have effect.

(3) If the day mentioned in subsection (1) above is earlier than the day mentioned in subsection (2) above, the Medical Acts 1956 to 1969 and this Act shall have effect, during the period commencing with the first day and ending immediately before the second, subject to the provisions of Part III of Schedule 5 to this Act.'.—[Mr. Moyle.]

Brought up, and read the First time.

10.17 p.m.

The Minister of State, Department of Health and Social Security (Mr. Roland Moyle)

I beg to move, That the clause be read a Second time.

Mr. Speaker

With this we may take Government Amendments Nos. 15, 17, 19, 49, 50, 21, 23, 24, 26, 29 to 41, and 43.

Mr. Moyle

These are Government amendments designed to enable some of the new provisions relating to the registration of overseas qualified doctors to be brought in, particularly those relating to limited registration. The amendments mean that the provisions will not have to wait until the new General Medical Council is elected and the education committee is set up and functioning. That process might take two years. Therefore, we want to allow limited registration to take effect almost immediately after the passage of the Bill. These amendments have been welcomed by the Overseas Doctors Association.

Dr. Gerard Vaughan (Reading, South)

We welcome the new clause, which implements the other changes that the Government introduced in Committee.

This Bill arose from the recommendations of the Merrison Committee. It was universally accepted and agreed by the BMA, the GMC and the professions generally. We were presented with a Bill that had an almost suspicious amount of approval from everyone concerned, as well as a unanimous report from the Merrison Committee.

On that basis we were happy to support the Bill and to agree that it should go straight into Standing Committee. For that reason we insisted that it should come back to the House tonight so that any hon. Members who were not on the Committee would have an opportunity to look at its main provisions.

In one way it was a most unusual Bill. In another place first and then in Committee the substance of the Bill was transformed by a large number of new amendments. We are now seeing a Bill totally different in many respects from the original.

However, we are pleased to give our support to the new clause which follows closely the recommendations of Lord Hunt in another place. I pay tribute to his work and initiative in having the various changes put in on the registration of overseas doctors and doctors generally. We welcome the new clause and support it.

Question put and agreed to.

Clause read a Second time, and added to the Bill.