HL Deb 23 April 1913 vol 14 cc284-5

I beg to ask His Majesty's Government whether the Insurance Commissioners have intimated to certain Insurance Committees that "food" or "special food" may be provided if recommended by a panel doctor as part of "treatment" under the Insurance Act; whether they have issued any general regulation on the subject, and if not, why they have enabled certain Insurance Committees to treat the insured persons in their areas more favorably than insured persons in the areas of Insurance Committees who have not received that intimation; whether the Insurance Commissioners will issue any definition of "food" or of "special food" in this connection, and if so, by what date; whether at the present time it is in the power of any Insurance Committees, on the recommendations of panel doctors, to provide all the food and drink necessary to the maintenance of insured persons receiving treatment for sanatorium or medical benefit in their areas; what part of the £12,010,300 estimated to be expended in benefits during the year 1913–14 is set to the cost of food.


The answer to the first part of the Question is in the negative as regards medical benefit, and, subject to certain qualifications, in the affirmative as regards sanatorium benefit. With regard to the second part, the Commissioners have not issued any general regulation on the subject, and there is no ground for the suggestion of preferential treatment of some Committees. With regard to the third part, the Insurance Commissioners have stated that an insured person in receipt of sanatorium benefit may be supplied with such special food as may be ordered by the doctor and is ancillary to the treatment of the ease, and they do not consider that the issue of any further definition is necessary. The answer to the fourth part of the question is in the negative. As to the last part it is not possible to give any approximate estimate of the cost of such special food as may be supplied to insured persons during the year 1913–14; but, for the reasons given above, the amounts must necessarily be small.