HC Deb 01 July 1997 vol 297 c144W
Ann Clwyd

To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will assess the(a) advantages and (b) disadvantages of self employed status for national health service (i) general practitioners, (ii) pharmacists, (iii) dentists and (iv) opticians. [5660]

Mr. Milburn

Self-employment has both advantages and disadvantages for both the national health service and the contractors concerned. who will take these into account when making decisions on how best to pursue their professions.

The national health service already directly employs doctors, dentists, pharmacists and optometrists in the hospital and community health sectors.

The national health service Acts currently require health authorities to arrange for the provision of primary care, generally through independent contractors. Pilots that may be introduced under the NHS (Primary Care) Act 1997 could extend to doctors and dentists options for salaried service in this sector.

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