§ Mr. Laws
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many employees in—(a) his Department and (b) his Department's agencies and non-departmental public bodies have had private medical insurance provided for them in each year since 1997–98; what the total cost is; and if he will make a statement. 
§ Dr. Moonie
[holding answer 6 February 2002]: The Civil Service Management Code specifically precludes the provision of private medical insurance as part of any structured remuneration package. Consequently, private medical insurance is not a feature of Ministry of Defence civil service employment. The employees of MOD's non-departmental public bodies are not civil servants although, in practice, their terms and conditions are partially modelled on civil service lines. One of the MOD's non-departmental public bodies—the Oil and Pipelines Agency—does offer private medical insurance to its employees. The numbers of annual costs since 1997–98 are as follows:
Year Number of employees Cost pa (£000) 1997–98 110 4.4 1998–99 7 5.0 1999–2000 8 5.9 2000–01 8 5.0 2001–02 5 6.2 1 Estimate
The number of staff taking up the option of private medical insurance has diminished over the years because it constitutes a taxable benefit, which many find increasingly unattractive.