HC Deb 23 March 1914 vol 60 c22

asked the hon. Member for St. George's-in-the-East, as representing the Insurance Commissioners, if he is aware that the Insurance Commissioners have required in Memorandum 187 I.C. that no insured person will on and from 12th January last be able, without a medical card, to exercise a choice of, or to claim treatment from, a doctor selected by him; that in spite of such regulations the medical cards have not reached insured persons in several hundred thousands of cases, with the result that they are wholly unable to obtain medical benefit when sick except at their own expense; and whether, as in such cases insured persons are being deprived of the benefit promised to them as the result of their own and their employers' contributions, the Government propose to take any and, if any, what action in the matter?


Under the arrangements indicated in the Memorandum in question, doctors are not permitted to require the persons on their lists to produce medical cards as a condition of their receiving treatment until notified by the Insurance Committee that medical cards have been issued to all such persons. Those arrangements, moreover, provide a special procedure whereby persons who desire to choose a doctor may obtain a medical card for the purpose upon application, and my right hon. Friend has no reason to believe that there is any ground for the apprehension of the hon. Member.


Is the hon. Gentleman not aware that, in fact, a large number of insured persons are not receiving medical benefit since this Order was issued?


I am not aware that anything has been done which has prevented from obtaining medical benefit anyone who had a right to it.