§ Mr. Beith
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations he has received from the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene about the downgrading of the post of medical adviser to the Overseas Development Administration and the depletion of medical advisers in his Department; and what reply he has given.
§ Mr. Eggar
My right hon. Friend the Minister for Overseas Development has received two letters from the President of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. The latest express concern that the Overseas Development Administration should have access to good medical advice at senior level, and asks what steps the Minister proposes to take to fill vacant medical adviser posts in the ODA. I have replied assuring the Society that my right hon. Friend shares their concern that Britain should continue to make a major contribution to health care in developing countries, and that the Overseas Development Administration should have access to good professional advice, including medical advice, to enable it to carry out its programmes. I am confident that the arrangements which the Overseas Development Administration has made to recruit a second full-time medical adviser, and a full-time professional head of health and population division, will meet this requirement.