§ Mr. George Rodgers
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if she is satisfied that the intake of medical students is sufficient to meet the requirements of the health service; and if she will make a statement.
§ Dr. Owen
No, I am not satisfied, but I am glad to say that much is being done to correct the situation, and we are determined to do everything possible to preserve the planned expansion bearing in mind present financial difficulties. Medical school intake has increased from 2,695 in 1970 to an estimated 3,280 in 1974 and is planned to reach about 4,000 by the end of the decade. The achievement of this target figure is a very high priority for it will increase considerably the capacity to maintain and develop the medical staffing of the National Health Service.
Until the full effects of the programme are felt in the middle 1980s, the NHS will continue to depend on overseas-born doctors for some of the staffing needed for expansion, but this dependence should steadily reduce.