§ Mr. BARCLAY
asked the Minister of Health whether his attention has been drawn to the fact that unemployed persons who fall sick are frequently deprived of the benefits of health insurance for which they have subscribed, owing to the temporary lapse of their contributions during unemployment; and whether he proposes to take steps to remedy this hardship in so far, at any rate, that such persons shall be entitled to benefit to the extent of their contributions?
§ Mr. WHEATLEY
Not only are insured persons whose contributions under the1776W National Health Insurance Acts have fallen into arrears by reason of unemployment. already entitled to benefit to the extent of their contributions, but special provisions has been made to prevent their ceasing to be insured by reason of prolonged unemployment and to allow them to retain their title to medical benefit and full maternity benefit and to the minimum rates of sickness and disablement benefits, however few may have been the contributions paid in respect of them. They can, moreover, qualify for the full rates of sickness and disablement. benefits by paying a small sum within a specially prolonged period of grace after the end of the contribution year.