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Medical and Dental Students (Health Service Economics)

Oral Answers to Questions — Ministry of Health – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 16th December 1957.

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Photo of Mr John Cronin Mr John Cronin , Loughborough 12:00 am, 16th December 1957

asked the Minister of Health if he will take steps to have included in the syllabus of medical and dental students some elementary knowledge of the economics of the National Health Service and of the costs of treatment for which they will eventually be responsible.

Photo of Mr Derek Walker-Smith Mr Derek Walker-Smith , Hertfordshire East

I am considering a recommendation made in the Report of the Select Committee on Estimates on the Running Costs of Hospitals that I should urge upon all medical and dental schools and teaching hospitals the inclusion of these subjects in the curricula.

Photo of Mr John Cronin Mr John Cronin , Loughborough

Is the right hon. and learned Gentleman aware that this is very satisfactory news because, for all practical purposes, the doctors in the National Health Service have blank cheques to an almost unlimited extent on public funds? It would be very useful to have some increase in their awareness of their financial responsibilities.

Photo of Mr Arthur Blenkinsop Mr Arthur Blenkinsop , Newcastle upon Tyne East

Can the Minister at least follow up the point about the advisability of dealing with the problem of prescribing through the curriculum, because this is a matter which so far has been missed out?

Photo of Mr Derek Walker-Smith Mr Derek Walker-Smith , Hertfordshire East

The actual curriculum is the responsibility of the universities concerned. As the hon. Gentleman may know, the question of the cost of prescribing is under consideration by the Committee at present sitting under the chairmanship of Sir Henry Hinchliffe.