§ 44. Dr. SHIELS
asked the Minister of Pensions if he is aware that pensioner 1/MM/2,659, Charles Mackenzie, Musselburgh, applied for examination for an ear condition on 2nd February last; that examination by the Ministry doctors was delayed till 8th February, when he was referred to his panel doctor for treatment; that his panel doctor said his case was one for an ear specialist, but that, on application to the Ministry for re-examination, this was refused on 25th February and 29th February; that on 29th February he was examined by the chief aural surgeon of Edinburgh Royal Infirmary, who advised and was proceeding to arrange for an early operation, but that owing to his being a pensioner, the case had to be referred to the Ministry of Pensions who, on 14th March, wrote stating that the matter was still being considered; and will he explain the attitude of the Ministry in this case, in view of the serious possibilities of middleear disease from which this pensioner was suffering?
This pensioner has received treatment from my Department on many occasions during 1792 the past seven years, and operative treatment has frequently been recommended and offered to him. He has hitherto refused to undergo operation, and it has been found that no other form of specialist treatment was necessary. As he has now expressed his willingness to accept operative treatment, arrangements have been made to admit him to a Ministry hospital for the purpose.
§ Dr. SHIELS
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware of the deep resentment among panel practitioners at the scant courtesy with which their certificates and opinions are regarded by his Department; and is the supposed reduction in the necessity for hospital accommodation in Scotland due to the fact that many ex-service men are being refused treatment that they require?
I certainly was not aware of the first part of the question, and I am quite certain the second part of the question is incorrect.