HC Deb 15 December 1949 vol 470 cc2916-7
43. Mr. Gerald Williams

asked the Minister of Health, if he has now discovered the percentage of persons who cannot be fitted with the Medresco hearing aid; and if he now proposes to allow distributing centres of aids to the hard of hearing to supply other hearing aids until the new Medresco is ready.

Mr. Bevan

I am advised that the percentage likely to benefit from a different electrical aid is less than 5. The answer to the second part of the Question is "No, Sir."

Mr. Williams

Will the Minister bear in mind that even when the Medresco hearing aid is available in quantity it will not suit everybody, and will he therefore give the makers of other hearing aids a chance of letting the public have them?

Mr. Bevan

At the moment we are investigating the possibility of having an aid which will be suitable for the less than 5 per cent. of the hard of hearing, and when that aid is available it will be distributed freely like the Medresco aid.

Mr. Lipson

Can my right hon. Friend say when he will be able to announce the result of these investigations?

Mr. Bevan

I hope before long, but as these are scientific investigations I cannot give a definite time.

Mr. W. Shepherd

Are we to take it that these unfortunate 5 per cent. are to wait without any relief because of the obstinacy of the Minister?

Mr. Bevan

No, but what I am not prepared to do is to mulct the taxpayers of Great Britain to provide commercial aids.

Forward to