§ 23. Captain CUNNINGHAM-REID
asked the Minister of Health whether, as persons insured under the National Health Insurance scheme are ineligible for dental treatment until they have been paying contributions for over four years, and in view of the importance of early treatment in dental cases, especially among young persons, he will consider the alteration of these regulations?
Sir H. YOUNG
Under the National Health Insurance Acts dental benefit is not included in the statutory benefits to which all insured persons are entitled, but is an additional benefit which may be 1895 provided by an Approved Society having a disposable surplus as a result of a quin-quennial valuation. An insured person becomes entitled to dental benefit at the beginning of the third year following that in which he joins a Society providing the benefit. In fixing this waiting period regard has been had to the considerations referred to by my hon. and gallant Friend but I am afraid that any further shortening of the period would be open to serious objection not only on administrative and financial grounds but also from the point of view of equitable distribution of the surplus amongst the members of the Societies.