HC Deb 17 February 1949 vol 461 cc1334-5
37. Brigadier Prior-Palmer

asked the Minister of Health if he will consider allowing local authorities to appoint representatives on the committee of management of the hospitals within their area.

Mr. Bevan

No, Sir; this would be undesirable and impracticable.

Brigadier Prior-Palmer

Does not the right hon. Gentleman think that local authorities are in a better position to judge the suitability of members of their local hospital committees than is the regional board?

Mr. Bevan

Local authorities are asked for suggestions by the regional boards, but it would be undesirable for local authorities to be directly represented on management committees, because then those management committees would tend to become conferences of delegates and not corporate entities.

40. Mr. Gerald Williams

asked the Minister of Health if he is satisfied that the hospital management committees are carrying out his instructions to secure a written undertaking from patients admitted to beds, under Section 5 of the National Health Act, that they understand their obligations to pay all professional charges.

Mr. Bevan

No. Sir; and I shall be pleased to take up this matter with the committees concerned whenever cases are brought to my notice.

Mr. Williams

Is not the Minister aware that the orders he has given from time to time are not effective; that there are many cases of people going into hospital expecting to get free treatment and then being faced with large bills which they are unable to pay; and will he give some more publicity to this question?

Mr. Bevan

I have on two occasions called the attention of the committees to this matter. I hope that the hon. Member's Question will call further attention to it. If there are any individual instances I should like to hear of them.