HC Deb 30 June 1915 vol 72 cc1808-9

asked the hon. Member for Lincoln, as representing the Insurance Commissioners, if he is aware that the panel committee at Newcastle-on-Tyne have decided to surcharge those practitioners whose drug cost has exceeded that allocated to them under the Act a portion of the cost, with a view to making them more careful in the future; that this has been done without any consideration as to whether the excess is accounted for by the special character of cases; that the two women practitioners on the panel have been surcharged; and that the excess expenditure on drugs in these cases is owing to the special character of their panels, and cannot be avoided if justice is done to the patients; and will the Insurance Commissioners take the steps necessary to stop this practice of surcharging medical practitioners in cases where it has clearly been necessary to exceed the allocated expenditure upon drugs in the interests of the patients?

The COMPTROLLER of the HOUSEHOLD (Mr. C. Roberts)

I am not in possession of the details of the specific cases referred to, but I would remind the hon. Member that a practitioner has a right to be heard by the panel committee of the area before that body report to the insurance committee; and, further, to appeal to the Insurance Commissioners against any decision of the insurance committee to impose a surcharge.