asked the Minister of Health the constitution, personnel and functions of the Advisory Emergency Hospital Service Committee; who was responsible for its formation; when it was formed and how were its members appointed; who nominated them; and how often and where has this committee met up to date?
§ Mr. E. Brown
This committee consists of representatives of the Royal Colleges of Physicians, Surgeons and Obstetricians and Gynaecologists and also of group officers, the Central Medical War Committee, the London County Council, the staffs of London Voluntary Hospitals, and the medical profession in the provinces, with the secretary and deputy-secretary of the Central Medical War Committee. Its function is to advise the Minister of Health on the organisation of medical personnel in the Emergency Medical Service. I will send my hon. Friend a list of the 301W present members. The committee was first appointed in October, 1939, and subsequently enlarged, by the Central Medical War Committee, and was re-appointed by that committee in the present month. The members are nominated by the bodies they represent or directly appointed by the Central Medical War Committee, as the case may be. The committee has met on nine occasions at the offices of the Central Medical War Committee.
asked the Minister of Health whether he is aware that disquiet exists by reason of many doctors under 45 years of age being appointed to reception areas at the instance of local medical war committees or the Central Medical War Committee; and will he investigate the position having regard to the needs of the Armed Forces for doctors and to the fact that many doctors, either with greater domestic responsibilities or more advanced in years, are available for professional work in reception areas?
§ Mr. Brown
I am informed that most of the doctors transferred from vulnerable areas to reception areas at the instance of the Central Medical War Committee or its local committees are over 45 years of age. In any case all doctors of military age come up for consideration with a view to selection for service with the Forces. The Central Medical War Committee would be glad to have particulars of the doctors referred to in the last part of the Question as being available for professional work in reception areas.
§ Sir F. Fremantle
asked the Minister of Health what steps he proposes to take to decide the respective priority of needs of medical practitioners between those of the civil population, of local authorities and of the Fighting Services?
§ Mr. Brown
The questions of priority referred to by my hon. Friend have already been considered by the Committee on the allocation of medical man-power which was mentioned in a reply given by my predecessor to the hon. Member for East Wolverhampton (Mr. Mander) on 6th February, and action is being taken on their recommendations. I am considering with the other Ministers concerned what organisation should be set up to deal with similar questions that may arise in future.