14. Captain ELLIOT
asked the Minister of Pensions whether the tubercular pensioners in parochial sanatoria receive treatment on the full scale laid down by the Pensions Ministry; and, if not, whether he will give instructions that additional allowances he given to Pensions Ministry patients to bring them individually up to this scale?
I am not quite clear what class of institution the hon. and gallant Member has in mind; but I may say that whenever a course of residential treatment is prescribed by a tuberculosis medical officer for a condition accepted by the Ministry as due to or aggravated by war service, and such treatment is given in a sanatorium approved by the Ministry of Health, the allowances and other expenses authorised under Article 6 of the Royal Warrant are granted.
15. Captain ELLIOT
asked the Minister of Pensions whether the pensions for tuberculous patients are reduced after the discharge of the patient from the sanatorium for the second time to 40 per cent.; and whether he will give instructions that it should be 100 per cent. for six months as in the case of dismissal for the first time?
There is no general rule in operation to the effect stated in the first part of the question. On discharge from a sanatorium for the second or any subsequent period of treatment, a patient is given the pension at the rate of assessment which is found by a medical board to be appropriate to his condition unless he is still eligible for the special rates of pension available for a certain period in cases of tuberculosis. These special rates of pension, which are at the rate of 100 per cent. for the six months after discharge following the first period of treatment in a sanatorium or training centre, and not less than 50 per cent. for the succeeding two years, were designee as a special measure for the assistance of cases in the earliest stages of the disease Apart from the period of 2½ years in which these rates apply, cases of tuberculosis have to be dealt with under the general provisions of the Warrant applicable to all classes of disability.
Do I understand the right hon. Gentleman to say that it is not the custom for patients to receive a lower rate of pension on their discharge for the second time from a sanatorium!
Do I understand that as a rule a patient who is readmitted is not so likely to obtain a full pension on discharge as one admitted for the first time? Or is the ground of disability the only one taken into account?
16. Captain ELLIOT
asked the Minister of Pensions whether any allowance is made for clothing for outdoor work for patients admitted to sanatoria; and, if not, whether he will give instructions that such allowance should be made, since, in view of the current distress in many parts of the country, the provision of the necessary outfit imposes a serious charge upon the pensioner?
The arrangements for the residential treatment of tuberculosis for both ex-service men and others, are in the hands of the local health authorities, subject to the general direction of the Ministry of Health. I understand that such treatment does not ordinarily 2220 involve any special expense to the patient. I may add, however, that if a pensioner desires to provide himself with additional clothing, arrangements have been made for the purchase of it by way of advance out of the personal allowance which accrues to the pensioner during his treatment.
Do I understand the Minister to claim that there is no scale of clothing laid down as necessary or advisable for a patient to possess on his admission to a sanatorium? I have been given information in a contrary sense?
No, I did not mean to convey that. Where a special equipment is found necessary, an advance can be made to the patient out of any allowance that may be due to him.
Is it not possible for the pensioner to have that as a gift or issue and not necessarily stopped out of his allowance?
No; I understand that when the rate of allowance was fixed, it was supposed to be sufficient to cover the costs mentioned in the question.