HC Deb 23 July 1931 vol 255 cc1676-7

asked the Minister of Health the total amount spent by approved societies in connection with the provision of dental benefit since the inception of that benefit; and what effect, if any, the provision of this treatment has had upon the benefit funds of approved societies?


The total amount spent by approved societies on dental benefit from the commencement of the benefit to the end of the year 1930 is approximately £10,500,000. It is not possible to state what effect this expenditure has had upon the benefit funds; but the importance of dental treatment in avoiding or reducing the liability to ill-health is widely recognised.

69. Mr. LEWIS

asked the Minister of Health whether he is satisfied that the medical practitioners undertaking insurance work are only issuing certificates of incapacity to insured persons who are genuinely unable to follow any occupation by reason of sickness; and, if not, will he provide that the cost of sickness visitation undertaken by approved societies shall be borne out of the funds payable by approved societies towards the cost of medical treatment until such time as he is satisfied that the medical practitioners are issuing certificates of incapacity strictly in accordance with the regulations?


My hon. Friend will be aware that steps have recently been taken by the amendment of the Medical Benefit Regulations and by the issue of a memorandum on certification to all insurance doctors with the object of ensuring that claims on the funds of approved societies are not supported by medical certificates in any case in which the claimant is not incapable of work. I could not undertake to consider favourably the suggestion made in the question, which appears to be based on the assumption that sickness visitation is required solely as a check on medical certification.


Is it not a fact that additional supervision is being requested from the societies on account of increased sickness?


That may be true, but the point of the question is the assumption that because of that there is a need for increased visitation, which I do not accept.