HC Deb 17 March 1913 vol 50 cc691-2

asked the Secretary to the Treasury why insured persons who make their own arrangements for treatment by doctors off the panel are not allowed to receive medicine free from chemists on the panel in the same way as other insured persons who are treated by doctors on the panel?


Section 15 (3) contemplates that when insured persons are allowed to make their own arrangements for medical attendance and treatment they shall also make their own arrangements for the supply of medicines and appliances. It would obviously be unfair to require chemists on the panel whose remuneration is based on a capitation system, and accordingly limited to the sums available, to supply medicines to an unlimited extent on the prescriptions of doctors who have not, like those on the panel, a collective responsibility with regard to the arrangements made for medical benefit in the area.


May I ask the right hon. Gentleman whether it is not a fact that all insured persons pay through the contributions, of themselves, their employers, and the State, for benefits which include doctors and medicine; and if so is it not very unfair that a person, who pays in addition out of his private sources for the services of a doctor off the panel, should lose the benefit of free medicine to which he is otherwise entitled?


They receive a full equivalent for what they would obtain if they were attended by a doctor on the panel for drugs as well as for doctors.