§ 14. Mr. Lennox-Boyd
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will take steps to change the rule whereby a general practitioner cannot obtain reimbursement for the costs of employing his wife on his ancillary staff.
§ Mr. John Patten
No, Sir. Some general practitioners already receive an allowance under the related ancillary staff scheme to help with the cost of employing dependant relatives.
§ Mr. Lennox-Boyd
Does my hon. Friend agree that there is still an anomaly here, for example when a GP seeks to employ his wife for clerical work? Does he agree that it would be possible at least to relieve that anomaly without creating sources of possible abuse?
§ Mr. Patten
I am glad that my hon. Friend recognises the problem of abuse and that it must be carefully watched. I understand that representatives of the profession will engage in further discussions with my Department on the issue in the near future.