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Health union MSF has written to health secretary Frank Dobson, calling for an urgent inquiry into medical school admission policies, following publication of 1998 admissions figures by the Council of Heads of Medical Schools. The union says these show that white applicants had almost four times more chance of getting a place than black applicants. Michael Powell, executive officer of the council, caused controversy by suggesting that the figures showed black students 'matured late' and white applicants were 'better self selectors'. GP Sam Everington said it was 'time access was by ability, not by the colour of one's skin' and a full inquiry was needed to 'establish what steps are needed to root out this problem'.