HC Deb 27 June 1935 vol 303 cc1258-9
31. Mr. LOGAN

asked the Minister of Health whether he is aware of the mortgaging and transfer of medical practices in connection with panel patients controlled by financial houses; and is he prepared to investigate this matter?


My attention has been drawn to arrangements by which medical practitioners are able to obtain loans on the security of their income from insurance practice; but in the absence of specific evidence that these arrangements are exercising a prejudicial effect on the insurance service, I do not think this is a matter in which it would be proper for me to intervene?


Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that I did send him a Press cutting in which definite statements were made, and will he make investigations into that matter?


It is difficult for me to begin to examine statements in the Press. If the hon. Member has any particular facts of his own knowledge, I shall be glad to have a talk with him about them.


Will the right hon. Gentleman be good enough to look at the report sent to his predecessor by the Association of Insurance Committees on this subject?


Is it not a fact that patients always have a choice of doctor, and therefore they cannot be sold except from the point of view of goodwill and subject to the wish of the patients?


But if patients are being sold on the hoof by medical men, should it not be regarded by the medical profession as infamous conduct and a breach of professional etiquette?

33. Mr. T. SMITH

(for Mr. THORNE) asked the Minister of Health whether he is aware that Mrs. A. E. Wickens, of 161, Charlemont Road, East Ham, claims that W. McGowering and Company, engineers, of Leyton, failed to pay contributions under the National Health Insurance and Widows', Orphans' and Old Age Contributory Pensions Acts, which they were liable to pay in respect of her husband, who was employed by them as a manual worker from 1931 to the time of his death in 1934, and that she has thereby been deprived of a weekly pension; and what action he intends taking in the matter?

Lieut.-Colonel Sir A. LAMBERT WARD (Vice-Chamberlain of the Household)

I have been asked to reply. The attention of my right hon. Friend has been called to this case. Messrs. McGowering and Company dispute the contention that Mr. Wickens was insurably employed by them. An application has been made to my right hon. Friend on behalf of Mrs. Wickens for a formal decision whether her husband was insurably employed by the firm in question, and this application is under consideration.