asked the Secretary of State for War what are the general prin- 1166W ciples applied by the Army Medical Department when it overrules the opinion of civilian doctors in connection with the examination of recruits for the Army and Auxiliary Territorial Service; when does overruling take place, at medical boards or subsequently; in how many cases has the civilian medical opinion been overruled; and have the civilian doctors been consulted before their opinion has been overruled?
§ Captain Margesson
The opinion of civilian doctors regarding the physical fitness of recruits for the Army and the Auxiliary Territorial Service is overruled only after careful consideration of each individual case by the Army medical authorities, and, if necessary, after obtaining specialist advice. Apart from the examination of a recruit on joining, a disability may come to light during training; on the other hand, the conditions of Army life may improve the physical fitness of a recruit to such an extent as to justify transfer to a higher medical category. Information regarding the number of occasions on which the opinion of the Army medical authorities has differed from that of the civilian medical board is not readily available. It is not considered practicable for administrative reasons to consult the civilian doctors on these occasions.