HC Deb 19 May 1960 vol 623 cc1470-1
25. Mr. G. Thomas

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he is aware that doctors in some National Health Service hospitals are charging £4 4s. for the signing of a cremation certificate, despite the recommendation of the British Medical Association that £2 2s. is an adequate fee for this purpose; and whether he will now exercise his statutory powers to regulate the fees that doctors may charge in these cases.

Mr. Vosper

The Home Office is reviewing the Cremation Regulations, including the question of prescribing fees for cremation certificates.

Mr. Thomas

While thanking the right hon. Gentleman for that reply, may I ask if he is aware that there is a great deal of social injustice involved when hospitals within the same city charge different fees for the production of these certificates? The sooner action is taken the better.

Mr. Vosper

At present there is a voluntary arrangement in effect through the co-operation of the British Medical Association, and generally it has worked well. The question now arises whether some compulsory condition should be imposed. I should be grateful to the hon. Member if he would send me particulars of individual cases where a fee of more than two guineas is charged, and I will look into them.