§ Mr. RHYS DAVIES
asked the Minister of Health whether he has received representations regarding excessive charges which are being made by opticians for examination and supply of glasses to insured persons as additional benefits under Section 75 of the National Health Insurance Act; and what steps he proposes to take to prevent any imposition upon the funds of approved 348W societies and the poorest section of the community represented by insured persons?
I have not received any general representations on this subject, and have at present no power to make Regulations with regard to the arrangements or charges for the provision of optical appliances under Schemes of Additional Benefits. The Schemes, however, that became operative in July last, following the second valuations, contain provisions enabling an approved society to restrict the cost to its own funds in respect of appliances to such charges as are reasonable. I understand that the general question of the powers of the Central Department to supervise the provision of this and other additional benefits in the nature of treatment has received the consideration of the Royal Commission of National Health Insurance, whose Report I am expecting shortly.