§ Dr. David Kerr
asked the Minister of Health how many general medical practitioners are now working in the National Health Service from purpose-built health centres; and how many he expects to be by 1970.
§ Mr. K. Robinson:
Approximately 300, of whom about 50 per cent. use the centres as main surgeries. My information about centres being built or planned suggests that the total may exceed 1,000 by 1970, of whom at least two-thirds would be using the centres as their main surgeries.
asked the Minister of Health what steps he proposes to take to overcome the shortage of general practitioners in Darlington, in view of the fact that five doctors have resigned in recent months and that the present doctor/ patient ratio is one to 2,837 as against the national average of one to 2,433.
§ Mr. K. Robinson
My information is that only two doctors have resigned in recent months, that one of them has been replaced and that the other vacancy is shortly to be filled. The total number of doctors providing full medical services in Darlington has been unchanged since 1965 and has only slightly fallen since 1948. However, Darlington remains one of the areas of greatest shortage, and the measures now being taken to attract more general practitioners to such areas were described in the reply of 6th November to my hon. Friend the Member for Wolverhampton, North-East (Mrs. Renee Short). [Vol. 753, c. 609.]