§ Mr. Higgs
asked the Minister of Health whether he is aware that, in Birmingham, hundreds of the applications for hearing aids, submitted during 1948, have still to be dealt with and it is anticipated that some time will elapse before 1949 applications can be considered; whether he will give an estimate for the country as a whole of the number of such applications which are awaiting attention; and what plans he has for ensuring that the delays with regard to the supply of deaf aids are reduced and dealt with on more practical lines as with the applications for spectacles.
§ Mr. Bevan
I am fully aware of the size of the waiting list, which amounts in total to about 86,000. Distribution facilities are being increased, and will be further increased as circumstances allow; but I am not prepared to adopt arrangements which do not include adequate instruction in the use of deaf aids.