§ Mr. Harvey
To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment how many funded places were made available for the training of doctors at medical schools in(a) England, (b) Wales, (c) Scotland and (d) the UK in each of the last five years; and what provision has been made for places in future years. 
§ Mr. Wicks
The number of funded places made available for the training of doctors at medical schools in the past five years are:
England Scotland Wales Northern Ireland UK total 1995–96 3,486 874 169 170 4,699 1996–97 3,594 888 185 166 4,833 1997–98 3,749 934 200 179 5,062 1998–99 3,735 956 200 178 5,069 1999–2000 3,980 923 226 177 5,306
The Government announced in July 1998 that the annual intake of medical students in the UK would be increased over the period to 2005 by about 1,000 places. In England the Higher Education Funding Council for England has announced the allocation of a total of 1,126 additional places. The funding to the Council takes these new places into account. A further increase in the number of medical students is being considered in recognition of the rapid development of services to underpin modernisation of the National Health Service. In Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland these matters are for the devolved Administrations.