Medical Officers (Temporary Release).

Oral Answers to Questions — British Army. – in the House of Commons on 18th June 1942.

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Photo of Mr Thomas Harvey Mr Thomas Harvey , Combined English Universities

asked the Secretary of State for War whether his attention has been called to the difficulties which have arisen owing to the recent increased transfer of medical and surgical practitioners from civilian to military duties, involving depletion of hospital staffs and much heavier claims on the time and strength of private practitioners; and whether, in order to relieve the strain, he will consider the practicability of the temporary release for civilian duties of officers of the Royal Army Medical Corps, now on home service, whose present duties could be undertaken by a smaller number of officers?

Photo of Mr Duncan Sandys Mr Duncan Sandys , Lambeth Norwood

The allocation of doctors for the needs of the Fighting Services, in relation to those of the civilian population, is based on a careful system of priorities worked out by the Medical Personnel Priority Committee set up by the Minister of Health, the Secretary of State for Scotland and the three Service Ministers. Many medical officers have already been granted temporary release from the Army to meet civilian needs This practice has been in force for over 12 months, and we shall maintain it as fully as the needs of the Service allow us.

Photo of Mr Thomas Harvey Mr Thomas Harvey , Combined English Universities

Will the War Office also consider releasing these men, say, for two hours a day in those cases where a medical officer is stationed close to his previous work?

Photo of Mr Duncan Sandys Mr Duncan Sandys , Lambeth Norwood

I will look into the possibility of adopting my hon. Friend's suggestion.