§ Mr. RHYS DAVIES
asked the Minister of Health if he will take steps to prohibit dental practitioners, who have accepted the official scale of payments agreed upon, inducing insured persons entitled to service under that scale to contract out of the arrangement by representing that private treatment for higher fees is more satisfactory than the official dental service provided under the recognised scheme?
Sir H. YOUNG
I think that the matter to which the hon. Member directs attention is already adequately covered by the dental benefit Regulations. Those Regulations provide that a dentist shall apply the same degree of skill and attention when giving treatment to an insured person under the Regulations as he would apply in giving treatment to a private patient. A dentist is not, however, required to enter into any general undertaking to provide treatment on the terms and conditions laid down in the Regulations to all insured persons who are entitled to dental benefit and who apply to him for treatment. Every such person is the subject of a separate contract, and the dentist is free either to accept or to decline the insured person as a patient under the conditions laid down in the Regulations. In the former event he is expressly debarred from suggesting, demanding, or accepting any payment from the insured person beyond that provided in the prescribed scale, and the insured person is entitled to receive from his approved society the proper proportion of the cost of his treatment. In the latter event, it is impossible to prohibit the insured person from agreeing with the dentist to be treated as a private patient1868W at such fee as may be mutually agreed between them, but in that case the insured person would not be entitled to claim any part of the cost of his treatment from his approved society.