HC Deb 15 May 1975 vol 892 cc171-2W
Mr. Stott

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services whether the Government intend to enable reciprocity of medical registration to be resumed with Pakistan and Bangladesh; and if she will make a statement.

Mrs. Castle

Under the Medical Act 1956, as amended, a doctor holding an overseas qualification may be granted full registration—enabling him to practise here in any capacity—if his qualification is recognised for that purpose by the General Medical Council and, if in addition, Part III of the Act has been applied by Order in Council to the country in which the qualification was granted. A preconditionn of making such an order is that the country concerned affords to doctors with United Kingdom qualifications such privileges of practising there as to Her Majesty may seem just.

The opinion has been expressed both by the General Medical Council and by

Favourable Decision
Representation Total Applicant Attended Applicant Absent Applicant Attended Applicant Absent
Unrepresented 20,296 7,147 13,149 1,652 852
Solicitors 157 129 28 51 9
Social or welfare workers 773 648 125 324 57
Friends or relatives 3,402 2,632 770 865 255
Claimants' unions, trade unions or voluntary organisations 983 731 252 363 48

the Merrison Committee in its report published on 16th April that the main purpose of a system of registration ought to be the maintenance of standards in this country, and that the presence or absence of reciprocal privileges of practice in the country from which a doctor comes is irrelevant to that purpose. Accordingly, while consultations are taking place on the report, the Government do not propose to advise Her Majesty to make an order extending Part III of the Act to any country to which it does not at present apply. The order which applied to Pakistan before Bangladesh became an independent State lapsed when Pakistan left the Commonwealth in 1972. A qualification obtained in a country to which Part III of the Act does not apply may, however, as hitherto, be recognised by the General Medical Council for the purposes of temporary registration which enables a doctor so registered to be employed in an approved hospital at any level of post for which he is otherwise qualified.