HC Deb 29 May 1913 vol 53 c312
74. Mr. FELL

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if his attention has been called to the position of fishermen under the National Insurance Act; that they receive no benefits under the Act when they are away from their home port; that the panel doctors refuse to recognise their cards and to treat them at other ports near the grounds where they may be fishing; and that, as they are away for something like nine months in the year, they pay the same as other persons residing in the same town and receive about one-fourth of the benefits; and, if so, what action he will take to remove the alleged grievance?


As I stated in reply to the hon. Member on the 16th January last, benefits under the Act are not withheld from fishermen except where they are entitled to medical attendance and maintenance during sickness from their employer. Arrangements have been made whereby any insured persons, including, of course, fishermen, can, when absent from their usual place of residence, obtain medical attendance and treatment from doctors on the panel in the area in which they are temporarily resident. A society which admits fishermen or seamen can make special arrangements for enabling its members to obtain medical attendance at any ports in the United Kingdom on the production of their cards.


Does the right hon. Gentleman suggest that the fishermen on presenting their cards can get medical attendance from the panel doctors?


Yes; under arrangements made fishermen can obtain attendance from panel doctors without payment.