§ Mrs. Chalker
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what discussions he has had with interested parties about providing a right in law to private medical treatment.
§ Dr. Owen
Any patient may already seek private treatment from any doctor entitled to engage in private practice. The use of NHS hospitals for this purpose is at present subject to the provisions84W of the NHS Acts, under which accommodation and services may be authorised, as pay beds or otherwise. Proposals announced on 15th December, following consultation with the medical and dental professions, for separation of private pay beds from the NHS hospitals included proposals for legislation to renew the provision in the NHS (Amendment) Act 1949 which maintains the right to private practice by entitling doctors and dentists to work both privately and in NHS establishments. The proposals are embodied in the Health Services Bill, which received First Reading on 12th April.