§ 40. Mr. Wingfield Digby
asked the Minister of Health if he is aware that there are still a large number of dentists in Dorset who are refusing to accept dental letters; and what further action he proposes to take to help insured contributors obtain dental treatment.
§ Captain John Crowder
Can the Minister say which Minister is responsible for this matter? I put a Question down to the right hon. Gentleman and the Table transferred it to the Minister of National Insurance, who gave the answer the other day that they had no power to force dentists to accept these letters. Who is responsible? The Minister asked the hon. Member to send particulars to him, but we have been sending them to the Minister of National Insurance.
§ Mr. Bevan
It arose out of the confusion in legislation inherited from the past. At the moment dental benefit is an additional benefit given by the approved societies under the National Health Insurance Act and that is the responsibility of the Minister of National Insurance, but it is up to the Minister of Health to try to look after the health of the population and, therefore, we try to help wherever we can. I hope these foolishnesses will disappear after 5th July.
§ Mr. Frank Byers
May I ask the Minister if it would not be quicker and more satisfactory if he undertook the responsibility of finding out which dentists are refusing treatment, because some of my constituents have had to go many miles in recent weeks?