§ 33. Mr. RHYS DAVIES
asked the Minister of Health how many approved societies have been compelled to abandon their schemes of additional benefits through lack of funds, temporarily or otherwise, since the results of the last valuation were declared; and the approximate number of insured persons covered by those societies?
No approved society has been compelled through lack of funds to abandon its whole scheme of additional benefits, but about 100 societies (covering a total membership of between 2094 three and four million insured persons) which have included dental and ophthalmic benefits in their schemes, have found that the demand for those benefits amongst their members has so far exceeded the expectation that the amounts allocated to the benefits for a particular year have been exhausted before the end of the year, and they have consequently been obliged to defer the authorisation of claims until the beginning of the following year, when further money became available. In nearly every case the authorisation of claims for the benefits has now been resumed.
§ Sir H. CAUTLEY
Would not the balances of the various societies he improved if the doctors were placed in a more independent position and able to exercise independent judgment as to men continuing on the panel or coming off it?
§ Miss WILKINSON
Can the Minister say how many societies would not have been in this difficulty if it had riot been for his raid on the surplus?