By the early 1960s there was not only concern at the distribution of doctors: there was also an acute shortage of doctors in both general and hospital prac­ tice, and at junior and senior levels. Only ten years before, there had been alarm that too many doctors were being produced. The Ministry of Health had then accepted responsibility for the geographical distribution of special­ ists, as well as general practitioners, and for the proportion of senior regis­ trars. It was becoming clear that now it would also have to accept responsi­ bility for the overall number of doctors and for their internal distribution among the different kinds of practice. Gradually the Ministry was assuming a more positive role in the national planning of medical practice.