HC Deb 17 December 1942 vol 385 cc2057-8
41. Mr. George Griffiths

asked the Minister of Health what arrangements exist outside the Poor Law for enabling persons suffering from diabetes to obtain insulin free or at reduced prices?

Mr. E. Brown

A person who is insured under the National Health Insurance Acts is entitled, to obtain insulin as a part of his medical benefit if it is prescribed by the doctor attending him. Local education authorities may provide insulin free or at reduced rates for children and young persons attending schools and educational institutions if the necessary sanction to this arrangement has been obtained. A general sanction is now being given. Local authorities have power with my approval to provide temporary supplies of insulin for the poorer inhabitants of their districts. I am issuing a circular drawing attention to this power and conveying my approval to its exercise for the period of the war, and I will send my hon. Friend a copy.

Mr. Griffiths

The right hon. Gentleman stated at the end of his reply that diabetics may be enabled to get their insulin free or at reduced prices from local authorities, but would it not be possible for the Minister to arrange for them to obtain it from the county councils, for then it would be spread over the entire county instead of coming from the urban district council or the rural district council? If that were possible, I would thank the right hon. Gentleman very much for this Christmas box to the diabetics.

Mr. Brown

I hope the hon. Member will thank me for the Christmas box, anyway, but I am sorry to say it is not possible to accept his suggestion, as county councils are not among the authorities who can exercise this power under the law.