§ Mr. BLACK
asked the Minister of Health whether he is aware of the great dissatisfaction felt by insured persons who have contributed to the health insurance fund for many years and find themselves at the age of 70 precluded from further participation in the benefits of the fund and whether he can take steps to enable them to continue to participate, especially in the cases of those ineligible for Old Age Pensions?
§ Mr. WHEATLEY
The National Health Insurance Acts provide that the liability to pay contributions and the title to sickness and disablement benefits (but not to medical benefit) cease on an insured person attaining the age of 70, and I have no evidence that this feature of the scheme has been the cause of great dissatisfaction. The extension of sickness and disablement benefits to persons over 70, which could only be effected by amending legislation, would necessitate an increase in the weekly contributions, and would present serious administrative difficulties to approved societies in the application of the test of incapacity for work.