HC Deb 07 May 1913 vol 52 cc2037-9
69. Mr. HOHLER

asked the Secretary to the Treasury whether he is aware that Thomas Watts, late of 130, Charter Street, Chatham, an insured person, has been treated for consumption at his home from the 31st of October, 1912, to the 18th March last; that during that period Watts received neither suitable food nor sanatorium treatment, the insurance doctor, Dr. Niel, stating that the local insurance committee would not grant the food and that there was no sanatorium available; that on the 18th of March, as neither suitable food nor sanatorium treatment could be obtained, Watts was removed to the infirmary of the Medway Union, where he now is; and whether he will inquire into the case and take steps to prevent a similar occurrence in the future?


I understand that the doctor referred to denies that he made the statement attributed to him. Both the tuberculosis officer and the doctor in charge of the case agreed that it was not a suitable one for sanatorium treatment; the case was, therefore, recommended for domiciliary treatment, but apparently an ejectment warrant was issued, with the result that Watts was obliged to leave his house. I am making further inquiries as to this case.


Will the right hon. Gentleman again make inquiry?


I intend to make further inquiries, and I will inform the hon. Gentleman of the result.

70. Mr. HOHLER

asked what sum is available to enable the Kent Insurance Committee to carry out their duties in connection with sanatorium benefit; will he inquire and state what expenditure or liabilities they have incurred to 31st March last on sanatoria, and on providing accommodation, for food, respectively, for persons suffering from tuberculosis; and what steps they have taken and are taking with a view to provide sanatoria and proper food for such persons in order to secure to them the benefits the Act intends?


The sums available under Section 16 of the National Insurance Act for sanatorium benefit in Kent is approximately £19,500. I am obtaining a Return from all the insurance committees giving information as to their expenditure on sanatorium benefit, and when this has been received I shall be glad to supply the hon. Member with full particulars in regard to Kent. Insurance committees have no duty or power to provide sanatoria, but they have made arrangements with approved institutions for the reception of insured persons suffering from tuberculosis, and they have authorised the allowance of such special food as is prescribed by the doctor attending the case.

77. Mr. GRANT

asked if he will state how many applications for sanatorium treatment are at present before the London Insurance Committee for which no immediate accommodation is forthcoming; and if the London Insurance Committee are in a position to grant facilities for treatment and diagnosis in hospitals for insured persons?


I am not sure exactly what figure the hon. Member is asking for in the first part of the question. About 3,000 applications for sanatorium benefit have been received by the London Insurance Committee. These include, beside a certain number of persons not entitled to the benefit, many who require and are receiving other forms of treatment than in sanatoria. Two hundred and sixty-three persons recommended for treatment in sanatoria are receiving domiciliary treatment while arrangements are made for their admission. With regard to the last part of the question, I am informed that the committee have made arrangements for hospital treatment in suitable cases.


Can the right hon. Gentleman say how many patients are enjoying the hospitality of these first-class hotels?


I think nearly 1,000 have been in or are in the sanatoria at the present time. Something like 750 were recommended for, and have been receiving domiciliary treatment.


Will the right hon. Gentleman take steps to see that the cases are diagnosed immediately; otherwise, the diagnoses would be of no use whatever?


It is the endeavour of the Insurance Commissioners and the insurance committee to get the treatment applied as soon as possible.