§ 3. Mr. Stanley Prescott
asked the Minister of Health what is the total sum under the National Health Scheme now outstanding to chemists; over what period such sum is owing; how many chemists are concerned; and why there is delay in settling accounts.
§ Mr. Bevan
About £3¼ million, representing balances due for the period August, 1949, to February, 1950, after substantial payments on account had been made to the 12,975 chemists concerned. The pricing staff have been unable to deal satisfactorily with the greatly increased number of prescriptions issued, but a new procedure has started which should lead to better progress.
§ Mr. Prescott
While thanking the right hon. Gentleman for that reply—[HON. MEMBERS: "Why?"]—because I think that it was factually accurate—may I ask whether he is aware that there is great hardship among chemists throughout the country because, during the last six months they have been financing the National Health Service? Will he do everything he can to expedite payment in future?
§ 38. Mr. George Ward
asked the Minister of Health what steps he is taking to reduce the delay in payments to chemists.
§ 40. Miss Irene Ward
asked the Minister of Health on what date he proposes to pay the outstanding claims due to the chemists in the Parliamentary constituency of Tynemouth
§ Mr. Fernyhough
In view of the distressing financial circumstances of chemists, will my right hon. Friend consult with the Minister of National Insurance or the National Assistance Board with a view to giving favourable consideration to any application for help