HC Deb 03 December 1936 vol 318 cc1428-9

asked the Minister of Health whether he is aware that it is the general practice of approved societies to send all their married women who apply for benefit under the National Health Insurance Act to the regional medical officers before any payment of benefit is made; and whether he will consider the appointment of lady regional medical officers to examine all women who may be sent to them by approved societies?


Where an approved society is in doubt as to the incapacity for work of any member claiming sickness or disablement benefit, it is entitled to refer the member to a regional medical officer for a second opinion, but I cannot agree that it is the general practice of societies to take this step in the case of all married women who apply for benefit. The regional medical staff already includes some women, and all vacancies on the staff are open to qualified women applicants equally with men, but I have no reason to think that there is any general desire that all insured women referred to the regional medical service should be examined by women.


Can the right hon. Gentleman say how many lady practitioners are engaged already?


No, but I will make inquiries and inform the hon. Member.