HC Deb 10 May 1923 vol 163 cc2546-7

asked the Minister of Pensions what is the number of men in receipt of home treatment without allowances in each region?


I regret that I have not this information. I may explain that home treatment is ordinarily obtained by the man from his panel practitioner under the National Health Insurance scheme, without the intervention of the Ministry.

9. Mr. GUEST

asked the Minister of Pensions whether he can furnish any explanation of the reasons why in the northern region, with 48,000 pensions in payment, there are only 186 men in receipt of home treatment with allowances, while in the north-western region, with 95,000 pensions in payment, there are 1,570 men on home treatment with allowances; whether he is aware that the emergency held committee of the Order of St. John of Jerusalem and the British Red Cross Society disbursed over £4,000 in the counties of Northumberland and Durham in the six months ending 31st December, 1922, mainly in grants to men who were totally incapacitated owing to a disability incurred in war service, and who were on home treatment ordered or approved by the Ministry, but who did not receive treatment allowances, and that in many cases the pensions are inadequate as compensation for the periods of ill-health and loss of work in consequence thereof suffered by the pensioners; and whether he will take steps to ensure that pensioners in the northern region when on home treatment shall receive at least equal consideration to that shown to men in receipt of home treatment in the other regions in Britain?


The apparent discrepancy referred to by the hon. Member had already been noted. I would, however, remind him that a comparison between regions cannot fairly be made on a percentage basis alone, without regard to such factors as hospital facilities and the various types of disability requiring treatment. I am satisfied from inquiries which have been made that in the northern region treatment allowances are not being wrongfully withheld. If the hon. Member has any evidence to the contrary, I should be glad to have an opportunity of considering it.


Is not the Minister desirous that there should be equal application of the Regulations throughout the whole area, and, as the answer to a question which I put down recently showed grounds for grave suspicion, will the right hon. Gentleman himself institute an inquiry?


I cannot undertake to make an inquiry, but I am, of course, in entire agreement with the hon. Member that the facilities should be equal. There are curious complications showing that certain illnesses occur more in certain regions than in others, owing to the district to which the troops from those particular regions were sent. It is a very interesting point.