Writing on the professions in 1933, Carr-Saunders and Wilson observed that the Minister of Health was already in a position to take the chief means of livelihood from most practicing doctors:

If the existing system of health insurance is to be preserved without fundamental change, the Minister must continue to control policy; but equally if the medical profession is to continue to order its affairs, the right of the doctor to earn a living must not be revocable at the com­ mand of the Minister. Can the system be amended so as to assure to both parties the rights which are desirable? 1

Since then, the remuneration and working environment of doctors have been increasingly controlled by the Minister. In the early 1930s about half the registered practitioners in practice were on the medical list as "panel" doctors; but in the 1960s the proportion in the National Health Service is little short of 100 per cent, and more than half are employed by the Minister or his agents on a direct salaried basis to work in the nationalized hospital service.