Mr. R. Duckworth
asked the Minister of Health whether he is aware that medical prescriptions, even if marked very urgent, cannot be attended to without delay owing to shortage of staffs in retail chemists' shops; and whether he will look into the gravity of the problem.
§ Mr. Willink
I am aware that under war-time conditions there are difficulties in the staffing of pharmacies, but I have no reason to believe that there is any general difficulty in getting medical prescriptions dispensed with reasonable promptness. If my hon. Friend has any particular case in mind, I shall be glad to look into it. The Central Pharmaceutical War Committee, which advises me in these matters, is making every effort to secure that the available manpower is so distributed as to maintain an adequate pharmaceutical service for the public.
§ Mr. Manning
asked the Minister of Health whether he has considered the action of a firm of chemists who are under agreement with many insurance committees in refusing to supply preparations ordered by insurance practitioners, on the pretext that such preparations are manufactured by firms of alleged enemy origin, and in substituting their own products; and what action he proposes to take with regard to cases of this nature which have been brought to his notice.
§ Mr. Willink
I am aware of the circumstances in question, but I have no jurisdiction in the matter except in respect of specific cases, in which breaches of the chemists' terms of service under the National Health Insurance Acts are 1643W alleged or established. One appeal now stands referred to me, but I am not yet in a position to give my decision.