HC Deb 14 July 1913 vol 55 cc863-4

asked the Secretary to the Treasury whether his attention has been drawn to the annual Report of the medical officer of health for the borough of Stepney, in which he states that the scheme for the treatment of tuberculosis under the National Insurance Act has not worked well; whether the Stepney insurance sub-committee has required applicants to go to a West End doctor for examination before treatment; whether they have been required to produce insurance cards to their detriment and loss of employment; and if 90 per cent. of the insured persons who are considered by their own doctors to be consumptive have not applied for sanatorium benefit?


The Report in question relates only to the temporary arrangements which were in operation during the period from 15th July to 31st December last. These arrangements have undergone considerable modification since the beginning of the year, and the difficulties have in consequence been diminished. An insured person has to be recommended for institutional treatment by the expert medical adviser at Fitzroy Square, but he can receive domiciliary or dispensary treatment without visiting the medical adviser on the recommendation of the doctor from whom he is receiving treatment under the Act. An applicant for sanatorium benefit was asked to forward his insurance card in order that the committee might be satisfied that he was an insured person and eligible for sanatorium benefit, but it was definitely stated that on the application form that members of approved societies who were unable to forward their insurance books or cards should obtain a statement from their society as to the number of contributions standing to their credit. I do not know what authority there is for the statement referred to in the last part of the question.


May I ask the right hon. Gentleman to answer the question whether they have been required to produce insurance cards to their detriment and loss of employment?


I think the hon. Gentleman will find the answer to that embodied in the reply I have given.