§ Mr. REID
asked the Minister of Health whether, in the forthcoming comprehensive insurance scheme, he will consider the desirability of including a provision whereby those persons who, under the present Regulations, are not entitled to claim any sick benefit, after a period of residence abroad exceeding one year, until the intervening contributions have been made up, or a further 104 contributions paid, might have imputed to them the benefit of those contributions made to the time of their leaving this country?
Under the existing health insurance scheme an insured person who goes abroad for more than a year is treated, on his resuming employment in this country, in the same way as any other person entering insurance, and accordingly becomes entitled to sickness benefit, at a reduced rate after payment of 26, and full sickness benefit after payment of 104 weekly contributions following his return. I see great difficulties in the way of the adoption of the hon. Member's suggestion, but I am sending it to the Royal Commission on National Health Insurance for their consideration.