HC Deb 01 November 1966 vol 735 cc79-80W
Sir C. Osborne

asked the Minister of Health if he is aware that the number of British doctors sitting the examination to qualify to practise in the United States of America has risen from 650 in 1965 to 1,190 this year, that over 1,000 have applied already for next year, and that all these doctors intend to leave this country; what inquiries he makes into why they are leaving Great Britain; what steps he will take to prevent this; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. K. Robinson

I understand that the number was 620 in 1965 and 882 in 1966. Information about the number who have applied to sit in 1967 is not yet centrally available. It cannot be assumed that all who apply take the examination or that those who qualify leave the country; and many who sit are doctors not permanently resident in Great Britain. The reasons for emigration are various and difficult to establish accurately, but I would expect the rate of emigration to be affected not only by the substantial increase in remuneration to be paid from the end of the year, but also by the new contract for general practitioners and by the discussions with the profession on working conditions and other matters relating to hospital doctors which I hope to begin shortly.