§ 12. Mr. LLEWELLYN-JONES
asked the Minister of Health whether he is in a position to make a statement as to the 235 steps which are being taken to ensure a satisfactory telephone service in remote rural areas so as to enable insured persons, in case of sudden or serious illness, to communicate with their panel doctors?
Sir H. YOUNG
Since 1924 a limited sum of money has been available from National Health Insurance funds for the improvement of telephone facilities in connection with the provision of medical benefit in remote rural areas. During the last three years a sum of £837 has been expended for this purpose in response to applications from insurance committees in England and Wales.
§ 13. Mr. LLEWELLYN-JONES
asked the Minister of Health whether he can give the approximate number of insured persons in England, Wales and Scotland, respectively, who have ceased to be entitled to medical benefit during the periods ended the 31st December, 1933, and the 30th June, 1934, respectively, who would still have been entitled to this benefit had the Prolongation of Insurance Act been continued?
Sir H. YOUNG
The approximate number of persons who were notified by approved societies as ceasing to be entitled to medical benefit on 31st December, 1933, by reason of prolonged unemployment, and were not subsequently notified as having resumed employment, was about 89,000 in England and 17,000 in Wales. The figures include, however, a substantial number of persons (estimated at about 10 per cent.) who failed to prove that they had continued up to the end of 1933 to be available for and unable to obtain employment and who would consequently not have remained entitled to medical benefit if the Prolongation of Insurance Acts had continued in force. The corresponding figures for 30th June, 1934, are not yet available. For information as to the position in Scotland, I would refer the hon. Member to my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State.
§ Mr. PALING
Has the right hon. Gentleman made any inquiries as to whether these people are suffering disability because of the fact that they are not entitled to medical benefit?