HC Deb 17 December 1953 vol 522 cc558-9
35. Mr. Speir

asked the Minister of Health the number of aliens who have had free treatment under the National Health Service during the 12 months to the nearest convenient date, and, in particular, what was the number of persons of Egyptian nationality who have so benefited.

Mr. Iain Macleod

I regret that this information is not available.

Mr. Speir

Is there any information to show that many foreigners are coming here specifically for the purpose of obtaining free treatment? In the interests of the taxpayer, has not the time come to see that this free service is somewhat restricted?

Mr. Macleod

There is not a great deal of evidence of that. The Socialist Party, when in office, took powers under the 1949 Act to make regulations in regard to that and those powers are still available if there is any widespread evidence of abuse.