asked the Minister of Health whether he is aware that after Lieutenant Broadbent's compassionate leave has expired, the town of Eye, Suffolk, and 16 surrounding villages will be without medical attendance; and whether he will take steps to prevent this danger to the public health of this large reception area?
No, Sir. I would refer the hon. Gentleman to the Reply which I gave to his Question on this subject on 23rd July. I am informed that there is another doctor resident in the town and that doctors from neighbouring places also visit the town and surrounding villages.
In view of the fact that the right hon. Gentleman and I have received a petition from a large number of people in this large rural area, will he reconsider this matter? Is he satisfied that he is getting the right advice from the local medical committees, and, most of all, will he himself give an assurance that if there is an epidemic in this large reception area we shall have increased medical facilities?
I cannot answer the last part of my hon. Friend's Supplementary Question, which is hypothetical, but, as he knows, the local medical war committee considered this, and I am informed by them that there is one practitioner remaining in Eye—and he has a part-time assistant—and that a number of doctors visit the town from adjoining villages, for example, four doctors from Diss, which is five miles distant; one from Hoxne, which is 3½ miles distant; one from Debenham and one from Stradbrooke. It would appear, therefore, that Eye is reasonably served.
In view of the fact that the local medical services are hopelessly inadequate, will the right hon. Gentleman give an assurance that if there is an epidemic additional doctors will be available?