§ "The Insurance Committee, if requested so to do by any committee elected by the medical practitioners who have entered into agreement with the Insurance Committee for the attendance and treatment of insured persons whose benefit is administered by the Insurance Committee, and if requested by the local committee, elected in manner provided I by the last foregoing Section, may be authorised by the Insurance Commissioners out of moneys available for the provision of 3383 medical benefit within the area to allot to and for the administrative expenses of each of the said committees, respectively, such a sum not exceeding one penny in all in respect of each insured person entitled to obtain medical attendance and treatment from the practitioners who have entered into agreement with the Insurance Committee as may be determined by the Insurance Committee with the consent of the Commissioners."
§ Clause brought up, and read the first time.
§ The CHAIRMAN
I understand that the words "foregoing Section" refer to a new Clause which the Committee passed yesterday, and that this Clause will be printed following that one.
§ Mr. GLYN-JONES
I beg to move, "That the Clause be read a second time."
As I have already stated the doctors on the panel have certain duties to perform. They have accounts to check. It is required by the regulations before payments are made a balance-sheet shall be submitted of accounts to a committee appointed by the practitioners on the panel, which shall have the power to reduce or disallow any items in the accounts presented. Regulation 44 provides that the chemists' accounts are to be submitted quarterly to a pharmaceutical committee, and that committee is to have the power to reduce or disallow any item. What this means is that about 9s. is provided for medical benefit, and that 9s. is divided in certain ways. A sum of 1s. 6d. is definitely allotted for drugs, and there is 6d. which under the regulations is called a "drug suspense account." It might be that some of that money would go to pay doctors for treatment, and some for drugs ordered. At any rate, it does not belong to the insurance committee, but is to be dealt with by those other two committees in some way. It is obvious that with all the prescriptions and accounts, it is no good simply setting up those committees and throwing those accounts at them and millions of prescriptions and saying "here you are, check them." This proposal is purely permissive, and enables those two committees to go to the Insurance Committees and say: "Allot one penny out of the drug suspense account," for that is what it really comes to. The two committees jointly request that this penny, which is their money between them, shall be used for the purposes of those committees, and in the main, of course, to 3384 carry on the work of checking those accounts, in which really no one else has any material interest. It is quite obvious that this cannot be forced upon anybody, and this only means that if these people ask that the committee may do so subject to the consent of the Commissioners.
§ Question put, and agreed to.
This is a somewhat ambiguous Clause which refers to another Clause passed yesterday. I want to suggest, as already the local pharmaceutical committee has been so ticketed in the former Clause that we describe it as such in this Clause in order to avoid the ambiguous phraseology of this.
§ The CHAIRMAN
The "ticketting," as the hon. Member calls it, is not done by the committee, It is clone by the draughtsman afterwards, and the draughtsman has the instructions mentioned yesterday that the name was going to be altered.
May I ask for my own information whether it is the pharmaceutical committee to which reference was made in the expression "if requested by the local committee elected in manner provided by the last foregoing Section."
§ Mr. GLYN-JONES
The previous Clause was carried with the word "pharmaceutical" left out, as objection was taken.
§ Clause added to the Bill.