HC Deb 19 April 1923 vol 162 cc2220-1
8 and 9. Mr. BECKER

asked the Minister of Pensions (1) if he is aware that the treatment of heart cases amongst ex-soldiers and sailors is being rendered ineffective because the Ministry refuses to supply new dentures in cases where these are required, owing to extractions having been recommended by the heart specialist; does the Ministry look to the hospitals to provide these dentures;

(2) if his attention has been called to the case of Andrew Dempster, an ex-sailor, of Barnes, who is undergoing treatment provided by the Ministry of Pensions at the National Hospital for Diseases of the Heart, where he was advised to have his teeth removed as an essential part of treatment for his invaliding disability; and whether, seeing that his admission to this hospital as an inpatient for this extraction was sanctioned by the Ministry, that his teeth were removed, and that the Ministry has refused to provide him with false teeth, he will consider whether the cost of supplying new teeth can be borne by the Ministry in cases where the extraction of septic teeth is an integral part of the treatment of heart diseases?


Where there is no dental disease due to war service but the extraction of teeth is recommended by my Department as a necessary part of treatment for an accepted disability, it is the practice to supply artificial dentures where such are necessary in the interests of the pensioner's health. In the individual case mentioned, I understand that the need for artificial dentures has not been established, but I am making further inquiries in the matter.


Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that a large number of ex-service men have had their dentures removed in order to assist heart treatment; that now they are walking about the wards without any false teeth and do not know where to find them, and that they have not the money to buy teeth? Can the right hon. Gentleman also say whether the hospital is supposed to supply these teeth, though only getting a capitation of three shillings per head?


If the hon. Member refers to my answer he will see that I have dealt with that point.

10. Mr. BECKER

asked the Minister of Pensions if his Ministry proposes to remove ex-soldier and ex-sailor heart cases from special heart-treatment hospitals and clinics and place these men under panel practitioners who are not heart specialists?


The answer is in the negative. So long as the condition requires institutional treatment it will be provided. Treatment under the man's panel doctor is only recommended when the case is within the competence of the average medical practitioner.