§ 52. Mr. Pavitt
asked the Minister of Health if he is satisfied that there are sufficient qualified pathologists coming forward to fill the consultant needs of the hospital service; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. K. Robinson
Generally there are sufficient applicants for advertised consultant posts but there are variations as between regions and in different branches of pathology.
§ Mr. Pavitt
Is my right hon. Friend aware that in some regions the problem is so acute that the pathological service is likely to break down unless something is done about it? What steps is he taking to ensure that new consultants come into those fields in the hospital service in which they are most needed?
§ Mr. Robinson
My hon. Friend knows that guidance on career prospects was published by my Department in the British Medical Journal and the Lancet at the end of last year. I hope that this will encourage more entrants into this speciality. But, as far as I am aware, there has been only one occasion 1109 in the last two years on which a post has remained unfilled despite advertisement.