HC Deb 17 October 1945 vol 414 cc1168-9W
Sir G. Fox

asked the Under-Secretary of State for Air whether he is aware that the present strength of medical officers in the R.A.F. is 2.27 medical officers per 1,000 men, which compares with one doctor per 3,500 of the civil population; why it is necessary for the proportion of doctors in the R.A.F. to be eight times that for the country as a whole, now that war-time conditions no longer prevail; and whether he has a plan for the rapid release of doctors from the R.A.F. to take up vital work on the home front.

Mr. Strachey

The comparison in the first part of the Question requires further explanation in that the ratio given for the Air Force includes doctors employed in hospitals on research and on administration as well as those on R.A.F. Stations at home and abroad. On the other hand, the civilian figure for this country, which I understand is about 2,500 per doctor, and not 3,500 as stated in the Question, relates to general practitioners and excludes doctors working only in hospitals, on public health administration, and on research. A similar figure for the Air Force would be one in 1,000, out of which provision has to be made for a doctor at each active airfield. This ratio is less than was provided in peace time. As regards the last part of the Question, the distribution of medical man-power is now under review by H.M. Government.