§ 13. Mr. Peter Freeman
asked the Minister of Health whether he is aware that citizens of Newport have to wait for eyeglasses as long as 17 weeks in some cases; and whether he will accelerate delivery.
§ Mrs. Castle
Is my right hon. Friend aware that although delay is not so long in all areas as it apparently is in the constituency of my hon. Friend the Member for Newport (Mr. Peter Freeman), some difficulty arises from the fact that there is no arrangement for assessing the relative urgency of applications and working out a priority scheme for urgent cases?
§ Mrs. Jean Mann
Will my right hon. Friend say how many years the citizens of Great Britain waited for spectacles before the scheme was introduced?
§ Mr. Marlowe
Since they have had to wait so long, will the right hon. Gentleman ensure that the glasses are of sufficient magnifying power for them to see their meat ration?
§ Mr. Henry Usborne
Is it impossible for those who want spectacles different from standard to obtain them by payment of an extra sum?
§ Mr. Bevan
No. It is possible for persons who desire to have frames which are superior to those issued under the National Health Service to make a payment, but we have protected the citizen by negotiating with the concerns as to what the overall payment shall be. Where glasses are ordered of a different kind and are necessary for clinical reasons, they can be obtained free.
§ Colonel Stoddart-Scott
Will the right hon. Gentleman say how long it will be before children can be issued with splinterless glasses which they had prior to the Act?