§ Mr. Redmond
To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many hospital doctors have left the national health service in each year since 1991 who qualified(a) five years previously and (b) 10 years previously. 
§ Mr. Malone
Data are not available in the form requested. Evidence of doctors leaving the profession prematurely is available from studies published in 1991 by Professor James Parkhouse. These studies suggested that although about 20 per cent. of doctors were not practising in the national health service five years after qualification the majority of these were not lost permanently to medicine. Many were working in short-term postings overseas to further develop their skills, while others were working in United Kingdom medical work outside the NHS, or taking short career breaks.