HC Deb 06 April 1950 vol 473 cc1349-50
69. Mr. Marlowe

asked the Minister of Health whether he proposes to employ ophthalmic opticians who are not ophthalmic medical practitioners in the National Health Service; whether he is aware of the concern among ophthalmic opticians that they are in danger of losing their livelihood; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Bevan

I assume the hon. Member has in mind the hospital eye service. Forty-eight ophthalmic opticians are already employed whole or part-time, and others will be engaged as the service develops.

Mr. Marlowe

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that ophthalmic opticians are apprehensive that they will be squeezed out of existence in view of the fact that only ophthalmic medical practitioners are to be employed in the Health Service?

Mr. Bevan

The ophthalmic opticians are aware of the situation. They know that what is in existence is a supplementary optical service. We hope that eventually the whole optical service of the country will be articulated through the hospitals where, in the first place, patients can be examined by ophthalmic surgeons.

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