HC Deb 22 May 1912 vol 38 cc1914-5

asked the Secretary to the Treasury whether he realises that the proposed provision of tuberculosis dispensaries in accordance with estimates framed on a population basis will be found impracticable in Wiltshire and other agricultural counties with a comparatively small and scattered population, without an expenditure of at least three times the amount of money provided for this purpose by the National Insurance Act; and whether, in the event of sufficient funds not being available in the hands of the county insurance committees, it will be the duty of the county councils to raise the balance of the required sum by an additional county rate?


I presume the hon. Member refers to the proposals of the Interim Report of the Departmental Committee on Tuberculosis in connection with the distribution of the sum available under Section 16 of the Finance Act, 1911, and Section 64 of the National Insurance Act for the provision of sanatoria and other institutions approved by the Local Government Board. The Report explicitly recognises the necessity of a greater number of dispensaries in proportion to population in rural districts. With regard to the second part of the question, it is not contemplated that tuberculosis dispensaries should be established for the provision of treatment for insured persons only. They are intended to meet the requirements of the whole population, and in so far as others than insured persons and their dependents are treated it is obvious that the cost of such treatment must be borne by the authorities or persons who refer them to the dispensary for treatment.