HC Deb 29 April 1930 vol 238 cc51-3W

asked the Minister of Health what were the numbers of insured men per 100 who claimed sickness benefit in 1921 and 1927, respectively; what were the respective amounts of expenditure in the same two years for sickness and disablement benefits and the State treatment of disease; what was the cost per head of the population of England and Wales in 1921 and 1927, respectively, for national health insurance; what sum was the cost per head of that population for the same years for State medical treatment; if he will state whether the tendency is for expenditure on sickness benefit to decrease as expenditure on preventive and curative treatment increases; and whether he will consider as to setting up a suitable body to inquire into the working of the Health Insurance Acts?


The information desired by the hon. and gallant Baronet is as follows:—

(1) According to a report recently furnished by the Government Actuary of the sickness and disablement benefit experience of a representative sample of the whole body of insured persons, the number of insured men per 100 who claimed sickness benefit in 1921 and 1927 was 14 and 23 respectively.

(2) The amounts expended under the Health Insurance Acts in England and Wales in 1921 and 1927 in respect of

  1. (a) sickness benefit were £7,176,800 and £11,818,000 respectively;
  2. (b) disablement benefit were £2,689,600 and £6,368,000 respectively;
  3. (c) medical benefit were £9,394,800 and £8,772,500 respectively.

In this connection it is pointed out that the increase in the amounts expended on sickness and disablement benefits in 1927 as compared with the corresponding amounts expended in 1921 was to some extent clue to the fact that in the later of those years there were larger increases in the benefit rates under the societies' schemes of additional benefits.

(3) The cost per head of the population of England and Wales in 1921 and 1927 for National Health Insurance was 13s. 11d. and 18s. 8d. respectively, and of medical benefit provided under the Health Insurance Acts, 4s. 11½d. and 4s. 5½d. respectively.

As regards the last two parts of the question, I would refer to the reply given to the right hon. Member for West Woolwich (Sir K. Wood) on the 10th instant. The factors which have contributed to the increases above noted are numerous and complex, and without further and fuller consideration my right hon. Friend does not think it possible to make any general statement as to the relation between those facts and the increased provision of curative and preventive treatment to which the hon. and gallant Baronet refers.