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The Prime Minister : I refer the hon. Gentleman to the reply that I gave some moments ago.

Mr. Hughes : How many more opinion polls will there have to be which show-- [Interruption.]

Mr. Speaker : Order. The hon. Gentleman has only just started.


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Mr. Hughes : How many more opinion polls will there have to be which show that four fifths of general practitioners believe that the proposals in the White Paper will result in a poorer service for patients before the Government change in any substantial respect their proposals for the Health Service?

The Prime Minister : The poll to which the hon. Gentleman refers was sent to 33,000 general practitioners. Some 631 replied before the White Paper was published ; a further 262 replies were received before the working papers in detail went out this week ; the rest did not reply at all. It seems strange to do a diagnosis before examining the patient.


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