HC Deb 25 March 1913 vol 50 cc1462-3
35. Mr. WATT

asked whether in Scotland, and particularly in Edinburgh, maternity benefit is not being paid to the women themselves, but to male relatives representing themselves as authorised to receive such; whether this is according to the Act, or whether the insurance committees have power to alter this method of payment?


The Scottish Commissioners are not aware that maternity benefit, either in Edinburgh or elsewhere in Scotland, is being paid to persons other than the insured persons entitled to it without proper authority from the latter. Section 18 (1) of the Act provides that where the husband is insured the maternity benefit is payable in respect of his insurance and by his society, and is to be treated as his benefit, though the society have power to administer it in cash or otherwise as they think fit. Insurance committees administer under similar conditions the maternity benefit of deposit contributors, but they have no powers with regard to the maternity benefit of members of approved societies.


Should not this maternity money be paid directly to the doctor or the nurse?


That question, I think, was raised when the Insurance Act was being passed, and a very strong opinion was expressed in the House that the system now adopted was the best system.


Is there any liability specially imposed upon the husband by the Act to provide his wife with what medical attendance is necessary?


The husband is exposed to prosecution and conviction if the wife is neglected during this period.

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