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6 Feb 2003 : Column 444W—continued

Meat Imports

Mr. Lidington: To ask the Secretary of State for Health on what basis the Food Standards Agency advised against banning imports to the United Kingdom of meat from abattoirs in other European Union member states and third countries which have previously sent beef with specified risk material still attached. [92636]

Ms Blears: In line with Government policy, the Food Standards Agency considers that action to deal with the problem of specified risk material in meat of non-United Kingdom origin should be taken within the established system of European law and in co-operation with competent authorities in European Union Member States and in third countries. The UK is therefore working closely with the European Commission and relevant Member States on this issue.

The Commission has been fully supportive of the actions the UK has taken to date in dealing with the matter.

Most meat arriving in the UK fully complies with EU law. That which is found not to do so is detained and disposed of.

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Medical Trainees

Mr. Norman: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment he has made of the number of medical students and training grade doctors who intend to enter into a career in general practice. [92109]

Mr. Hutton: The most recent study of young doctors' career intentions has been undertaken by the medical careers research group (MCRG) of the University of Oxford. The MCRG's survey of doctors during their first year after graduation shows that the percentage of doctors who intended to enter general practice has risen from 20 per cent. in 1997 to 25.5 per cent.

There is evidence that a higher number of medical graduates become general practitioners than indicated an initial preference to do so when first surveyed during their pre-registration house officer year. The number of junior doctors choosing to train for general practice has been increasing steadily each year since 1997. The Department's work force census in March 2002 showed an increase of 565, 42 per cent., in the number of GP registrars since 1997. Prior to that there has been a reduction of 334 GP registrars from 1991 to 1996.

The Department has implemented a number of measures to make the profession more attractive. These include:

6 Feb 2003 : Column 446W

Medical Workforce

Mr. Maude: To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many and what proportion of the NHS medical workforce are immigrants from countries outside the OECD. [95471]

Mr. Hutton: It is not possible to provide figures for the number of doctors from outside the Organisation of European Co-operation and Development. Published figures show doctors categorised by country of qualification grouped into United Kingdom, European Economic Area and Other.

Although data on the individual country is available for most doctors, there are several thousand doctors each year for whom this broad categorisation is the only one available. It is therefore not possible to say accurately how many are from outside the OECD.

The available figures are shown in the table.

NHS doctors (excluding dental staff in the HCHS sector) by country of qualification, England, 30 September 2001
Number (headcount)

Country of qualification
UKEEAElsewhereTotalProportion fromoutside EEA (%)
NHS doctors (excluding staff in dental specialties)68,7004,82020,85094,37022.1
Of which:
HCHS medical staff42,7003,57016,27062,54026.0
GPs (all practitioners)26,0001,2504,58031,84014.4


1. GPs (all Practitioners) include GMS Unrestricted Principals, PMS Contracted GPs, PMS Salaried GPs, Restricted Principals, Assistants, GP Registrars, Salaried Doctors (para 52 SFA), PMS Other and GP Retainers

2. HCHS medical staff excludes Hospital Practitioners and Clinical Assistants working in medical specialties in hospitals, as many of these will also work as GPs.

3. All figures exclude Dental staff working the HCHS sector. Figures on country of qualification for these staff are not available.

4. HCHS is "Hospital and Community Health Services". The sector also includes Public Health staff.


Department of Health General and Personal Medical Services Statistics

Department of Health HCHS medical workforce census

Ministerial Travel

Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what his estimate is of the total expenditure by his Department on ministerial travel (a) in the UK and (b) abroad, in each year from 1995–96 to 2002–03 (estimated); and if he will make a statement. [92450]

Mr. Lammy: Since 1999, this Government has published an annual list of all visits overseas undertaken by Cabinet Ministers costing 500 or more during each financial year. The Government has also published on an annual basis the cost of all Ministers' visits overseas. Copies of the lists are available in the Library.

Information for 1997–98 was included in the 1999 list. The overall cost of Ministers' visits for the years 1995–96 and 1996–7 was most recently provided with the 2001 list. The information for 2002–3 will be published as soon as possible after the end of the financial year.

Detailed information requested in respect of United Kingdom travel is not held centrally and could only be provided at disproportionate cost.

All travel is undertaken fully in accordance with the rules set out in the Ministerial Code and Travel by Ministers, copies of which are available in the Library.

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NHS Budget Formula

Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to his answer of 8 January, Official Report, column 281W, on the NHS budget formula, what reasons underlay the decision on the timing of publication of the new formula. [95620]

Mr. Hutton: The booklet describing the new formula will be published as soon as it has been completed.

NHS Redundancies

Mr. Simon Burns: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what the (a) total and (b) average cost to the NHS was, over the last 12 months for which figures are available, of redundancy payments to managers and administrators in NHS regions in England. [95637]

Mr. Hutton [holding answer 5 February 2003]: I refer the hon. Member to the reply I gave him on the 23 January 2003, Official Report, column 480W.

NHS Treatment Abroad

Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Health when he plans to extend the availability of operations in France and Germany to other NHS patients outside the south-east, in the rest of England. [92558]

Mr. Hutton: Plans have already been extended and operations are available in France and Germany for national health service patients outside the south east of England.

NHS University

Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what remuneration each of the NHSU executive will receive; how many other staff will be employed at the NHSU and at what annual cost; and what the annual expenditure for the NHSU will be in each year between 2003 to 2006. [96120]

Mr. Hutton: The remuneration of the chief executive designate of the NHS University (NHSU) was advertised at around £100,000.

The remuneration for the remaining NHSU directors falls into the NHS senior manager's Pay Range 1 of between £56,790 to £107, 395 per annum.

The structure and organisation of NHSU is currently out for consultation. We are therefore unable to provide exact figures and costs relating to how many staff will be employed at the NHSU and the annual cost. Further information about the NHSU structure will be published in their first strategic plan, available later this year.

The annual budget for the NHSU for 2003–04 to 2005–06 has not yet been finalised.

Nicotine Replacement Therapies

Paul Flynn: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment he has made on the long term efficacy of (a) Zyban and (b) nicotine replacement therapies (i) in the UK and (ii) in other Council of Europe countries in reducing the number of regular smokers. [92571]

6 Feb 2003 : Column 448W

Ms Blears: There is substantial evidence that nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) and bupropion (Zyban) are effective in helping smokers stop.

Guidelines produced to support Smoking Cessation Services 1 assessed the efficacy of Zyban and NRT and concluded that smokers of 10 or more cigarettes a day should normally be encouraged to use NRT or bupropion.

Most recently the National Institute for Clinical Excellence, in its Appraisal Guidance issued in March 2002, advised that NRT and bupropion are not only clinically effective but are among the most cost effective of all healthcare interventions and recommended they should be prescribed for smokers who have expressed a desire to quit smoking.

Data about the use of NRT and Zyban across the Council of Europe countries is not routinely collected.

Paul Flynn: To ask the Secretary of State for Health what estimate he has made of the percentage of smokers who will stop smoking permanently through the use of nicotine replacement therapies in the next five years. [92604]

Ms Blears: I refer my hon. Friend to the reply I gave him on 20 January 2003, Official Report, column 117–18W.

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