HC Deb 01 July 1957 vol 572 c690
47. Mr. Beswick

asked the Minister of Health why his regulations at present provide arrangements under which an optician can test and prescribe for a National Health Service patient, who attends a hospital for the purpose, but under which the same optician is not qualified to test and prescribe privately for the same patient unless holding a diploma in ophthalmology.

The Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Health (Mr. J. K. Vaughan-Morgan)

Because the regulations take account of the fact that when in hospital he is working in direct association with a specialist.

Mr. Beswick

Is it not, nevertheless, a fact that we have a situation in which an individual can examine and prescribe quite separately on his own if the patient comes to him in hospital, but that he is not allowed so to do if the patient comes to him in private practice? Is this not an illogical position which should be remedied?

Mr. Vaughan-Morgan

No, I do not think so. There may be a slight misunderstanding behind the hon. Member's question, but I should like briefly to say that this is a professional matter and that I do not think my right hon. Friend would feel justified in intervening to alter the professional advice which he has had.