§ 55. Mr. RUPERT GWYNNE
asked the Financial Secretary to the Treasury if his attention has been called to the correspondence between the Newhaven Rural District and the East Sussex Insurance Committee regarding the case of Thomas Avis, an insured person, who was sent on the 16th September last, as a matter of great urgency, by the Newhaven Rural District Council to the Lewes Sanatorium, and who was on the 7th October recommended by the East Sussex Insurance Committee for sanatorium benefit in the said sanatorium, but who nevertheless refuse to pay for the 1826 treatment between 16th September and 7th October; and whether, in the interests of insured persons, he will see that local bodies shall not be thus penalised for acting on the recommendation of their medical officer of health in cases of urgency?
§ The FINANCIAL SECRETARY to the TREASURY (Mr. Masterman)
I am informed that before application for sanatorium benefit was made to the East Sussex Insurance Committee, or the case was in any way brought to their notice, the Newhaven Rural District Council took the responsibility of sending the insured person to the Lewes Sanatorium. Application for benefit was first made to the committee on 28th September, and the case was recommended for benefit from 7th October, from which date the committee have accepted responsibility. The administration of sanatorium benefit is a matter for the insurance committee, and I have no power to take any action in the matter.
§ Mr. R. GWYNNE
Will the right hon. Gentleman answer the last part of the question: "whether, in the interest of insured persons, he will see that local bodies shall not be thus penalised for acting on the recommendation of their medical officer of health in cases of urgency?"
§ Mr. MASTERMAN
I think it is very difficult for the insurance committee to make a general announcement.
§ Mr. R. GWYNNE
Does the right hon. Gentleman think it is in the interests of insured persons to refuse to refund local authorities who have acted in cases of emergency, when afterwards it was clearly admitted that it was a bonâ fide case of emergency, and, further, is the right hon. Gentleman aware that the delay was occasioned by the fact that the Local Government Board had not then approved the Lewes Sanatorium?