HC Deb 27 November 1912 vol 44 cc1262-3
63. Mr. COOPER

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will state what arrangements he has made for insured persons requiring surgical and other treatment which can only be adequately given in hospitals and similar institutions, seeing that insured persons are no longer eligible for hospital treatment as necessitous persons?


asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he is aware that it is estimated that of the insured persons who will claim medical benefit after the 15th January next at least 30,000 a week will need for their adequate medical treatment hospital provision; and if he will state what provision will be made for these persons in the event of their being unable or unwilling to secure treatment in the existing charitable institutions?


These questions would appear to be based on a misapprehension. Surgical and other cases which cannot, consistently with the interests of the patient, be properly undertaken by a practitioner on the panel set up under Section 15, are not affected by the Act, and there would appear to be no reason why such cases should be less eligible in the future than in the past for treatment in hospitals and similar institutions. I may state that the average number of inpatients present in the hospitals at any one time would appear to be only a small fraction of the number suggested in the question.


May I ask the right hon. Gentleman whether he is aware that the income of the voluntary hospitals has suffered severely in consequence of the withdrawal of subscriptions, and whether he does not think it necessary to enter into business arrangements with hospitals for the treatment of insured persons?


Business arrangements can be entered into between hospitals and approved societies in the interest of insured persons under the Act I have no information as to any decrease of voluntary subscriptions in consequence of the Act.


Would not the funds of the approved societies go down in that case?


The societies would arrange, as some do at present, to eon-tribute a certain amount to a hospital in return for a certain number of beds being available for their members.