§ Mr. Cyril Smith
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will recommend the Privy Council to issue new instructions to the General Medical Council to lift the ban on the improvement of the careers of legal immigrants in this country, who entered from Pakistan and before Pakistan left the Commonwealth and who, as a consequence of the ban, find it impossible to get higher degrees, diplomas and settlements as general practitioners in this country.
§ Sir K. Joseph
The entitlement of Commonwealth and foreign practitioners to full registration depends first on the existence of an order applying Part III of the Medical Act 1956 to the country of origin and secondly on recognition by the General Medical Council of the qualification held by the practioner. When Pakistan left the Commonwealth the order previously in force lapsed and in consequence the General Medical Council could no longer grant full registration to doctors who qualified in Pakistan. The Government are currently considering whether a new order can be made having regard to the provisions of Section 19 of the 1956 Act. Doctors qualifying in Pakistan may still be granted temporary registration and there is no legal ban on temporarily registered doctors obtaining higher qualifications.
There is no change in the position of doctors from Pakistan who have already been granted full registration.