§ 15. Mr. Awbery
asked the Minister of Health what is the difference in fee charged under the National Health Service for medical certification for cremation and for burial; why this difference exists; and if he will take steps to establish uniformity in the medical fees charged.
§ Miss Pitt
No, Sir. A practitioner is required to provide a certificate to enable relatives to register the death. That is available free of charge in the case of ordinary burial. In the case of cremation, however, two certificates are required in respect of which no scale of fees is laid down under the Cremation Acts. It therefore follows that this is a private arrangement between relatives and practitioners.
§ Mr. Awbery
Is not the hon. Lady aware that many people would prefer to have the bodies of their friends and relatives cremated, for hygienic reasons, and yet we charge them extra for seeking to help in maintaining healthy conditions? Will not she look into this matter again?
But does not the hon. Lady know that there is a great difference in the amount of fee charged by the second doctor? There is an understanding that it should be about two guineas, but in some districts it may be as high as six guineas. Will not the hon. Lady look into this side of the problem and consider whether the Ministry should not make a recommendation as to the fee charged by the second doctor?