HC Deb 10 June 1941 vol 372 cc59-60W
Captain Plugge

asked the Minister of Health whether, when the new National Health and Pensions Insurance Scheme is introduced, he will consider making the cards available for one year instead of for six months, as is the case with unemployment insurance cards, thus saving labour and paper?

Mr. E. Brown

The possibility of securing economy by the substitution of a yearly Health and Pensions Insurance contribution card for the two half-yearly cards now in use has been carefully considered from time to time and was discussed with the Consultative Council on National Health Insurance shortly after the outbreak of war. After weighing the arguments for and against the suggestion, the Council unanimously decided that they could not then recommend its adoption but I will certainly see that the matter is considered afresh in the light of present circumstances. I would point out, however, that a yearly card would cover the period of a contribution year, running from July to June and that the change, if found practicable, could not take effect until July, 1942.

Mr. Groves

asked the Minister of Health the number of insured persons who failed to register with a medical practitioner in the past year; what becomes of the fees which should be paid in respect of them; and whether medical men suffer financially as a consequence of such non-registration?

Mr. Brown

I regret that the information asked for in the first part of the Question is not available. The total amount payable to insurance doctors for any year is determined after consultation with the Government Actuary and is based on his estimate of the total number of persons entitled to medical benefit on the average during that year without reference to the question whether they have selected doctors or not. The answer to the last part of the Question is therefore in the negative.