§ Mr. PRETYMAN
asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what sum would be required to pay the increase in medical fees falling upon members of friendly societies, disabled and over sixty-five years of age, owing to the remuneration required by the medical profession being raised to 8s. 6d.?
§ Mr. KEIR HARDIE
asked the Secretary to the Treasury whether he is aware that, in consequence of the additional Grant from the Treasury for the higher remuneration of the doctors under the National Insurance Act, 1911, members of friendly societies who were of the age of sixty-five or upwards, or who were subject to permanent disablement, at the date of the commencement of the Act will have to pay increased contributions for medical benefit; and whether it is intended to make a Grant from the Treasury of an equivalent amount per capita to cover the increased contributions of these old and disabled members?
§ Mr. MASTERMAN
I propose to take these two questions together. I am aware that, while some societies have been able to make satisfactory arrangements for the medical attendance of their uninsured members, in some districts the doctors are demanding higher rates of remuneration than the societies are prepared to give. As I have often stated, I cannot understand why the fact that doctors are receiving an additional grant in respect of insured members should make them demand not only the increase of about 50 per cent. (which societies are generally prepared to give) but an increase of nearly 100 per cent. in the rates they have hitherto been receiving for their uninsured patients.