HC Deb 08 May 1913 vol 52 cc2227-8W

asked the Secretary to the Treasury how many doctors are now upon the panel for Stafford district; what is the average number of persons upon their lists under the National Insurance Act; and how many persons under the Act remain as yet unallotted to any panel doctor?


There are five doctors on the panel for the Stafford district; the average number of persons on their lists is 1,378; and there are approximately 3,000 persons as yet unallotted.


asked the Secretary to the Treasury whether he is aware that a considerable number of insured persons in St. Andrews desire to make their own arrangements for the provision of medical benefit under Part I. of the National Insurance Act; if he is aware that the insurance committee have issued a circular letter refusing to allow any of these people to make their own arrangements; and can he say why they are deprived of the free choice of doctor, as promised them by the Chancellor of the Exchequer and provided by the Act?


The insured persons in this, as in other districts, have free choice among all the doctors who have accepted service under the Act. This is what was promised and is provided by the Act, Section 15 (2) (c) of which confers upon the insured person the right of selecting the practitioner by whom he wishes to be attended and treated from the appropriate list. Parliament definitely decided that the discretion in permitting insured persons to make their own arrangements should be vested in the local insurance committees, and individual applicants must therefore satisfy the committee that the grounds on which they ask for permission are sufficient.


asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether his attention has been drawn to the fact that members of approved societies who were of the age of sixty-five or more on 15th July last, or who through permanent disablement at that date could not become insured persons under the National Insurance Act, will have to pay increased contributions for medical attendance and treatment, unless the State pays the increased cost brought about by the operation of the National Insurance Act, inasmuch as the cost of medical attendance and medicine for insured persons has apparently been agreed to at 9s. per member per annum, and doctors are refusing to accept the said persons, over sixty-five or disabled, at a lower rate than that paid for insured members; and, if so, can he see his way to arranging for the State to pay the difference in cost?


I am afraid I have nothing to add to the answers which have already been given to similar questions on this subject.