HC Deb 08 July 1937 vol 326 cc549-50
32. Mr. Joel

asked the Minister of Health the cost of providing dental benefit as a statutory benefit; and whether there are any approved societies which now supply it?

Sir K. Wood

The cost of providing dental benefit as a statutory benefit cannot be estimated with precision in the absence of reliable data regarding the number of insured persons who would apply for treatment. Such information, however, as is available indicates that about 10 per cent. would apply for treatment each year at an average cost of about £4 per case. On this basis the cost would be approximately £7,000,000 a year. Dental benefit is provided as an additional benefit by 5,000 approved societies and branches in England and Wales with a total membership of 11,800,000 representing 75 per cent. of the insured population, and the expenditure on this benefit in 1936 was about £1,750,000.

33. Mr. Joel

asked the Minister of Health how many persons insured for health under the State scheme have, within the past 12 months, not selected any panel doctor; how many have not needed the services of their panel doctor; and what is the average number of attendances of those who have utilised the services of their different panel doctors?

Sir K. Wood

The number of persons who have been insured for 12 months without selecting an insurance doctor is not available, but the number of insured persons at any given time who have not selected a doctor although entitled to do so is about 495,000 in England and Wales. As to the second and third parts of the question, a recent sample investigation of the official records kept by doctors showed that 48 per cent. of the persons who had been on doctors' lists throughout 1936 had not been seen in the year and that the number of attendances, including home visits, per patient seen during the year was 7.1.