HC Deb 30 April 1913 vol 52 cc1169-70
57. Mr. HUNT

asked whether the right hon. Gentleman's attention has been called to the fact that 106 of the London panel doctors have each from 2,000 to 7,000 patients on their lists; that, consequently, some of the patients cannot get medical attendance and have to pay outside doctors as well as their insurance money; and what he intends to do to remedy this state of affairs?


I am informed by the London Insurance Committee that no doctor on the London panel has 7,000 insured persons on his list. Some misapprehension has been caused by the fact that in certain cases the doctor who is supposed to have a large number on his list is in fact the senior member of a partnership or firm, the members of which are collectively responsible for the treatment of those persons. The answer to the second part of the question is in the negative. If any insured person fails to obtain adequate medical attendance and treatment from the doctor whom he has selected, the insurance committee, on having the case brought to their attention by himself or his approved society or otherwise, will arrange for his transfer to another doctor.


Is it not a fact that the doctors have at all events from 3,000 to 5,000 patients on their books; does the right hon. Gentleman consider that satisfactory, and is it possible for the patients to get proper medical attention under those circumstances?


The doctors have on their books the patients who have chosen them; that is what we mean by the free choice of doctor. If they find they cannot get the attendance they want, then they can be transferred to another doctor.


Could the right hon. Gentleman say what is the greatest number of patients a doctor has got?


I do not think I can say that. I do not think I have any specific knowledge.


The right hon. Gentleman has said that there are several thousands.


I said that there is no doctor on the London panel with that number.