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National Health Insurance

Volume 154: debated on Monday 22 May 1922

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asked the Minister of Health whether, seeing that the Government entered into an agreement with doctors serving in connection with National Health Insurance in 1921, that their remuneration was fixed for a period of two years ending December, 1923, at, 9s. per insured person per annum, making the total cost of medical benefit12s. per insured person per annum, that, the Minister undertook then that the difference of 2s. 6d. between the sum provided by approved societies and the total cost of medical benefit would be met as theretofore by Exchequer grant, and that it is now proposed to transfer that liability of the Exchequer to the approved societies, he will state the reasons for taking this course?

The undertaking to which the hon. Member refers was that no reduction in the remuneration of insurance practitioners should be made during the period in question. No undertaking was either given or asked for as to the source from which the additional 2s. 6d. would be provided The Committee on National Expenditure recommended that the Exchequer should be relieved of any charge on this account beyond the statutory two-ninths, the' liability being transferred to National Health Insurance funds, and the method of securing this result embodied in the Bill before Parliament was suggested by the Ministry of Health Approved Societies Consultative Council.

asked the Secretary for Scotland whether he will arrange for the payments under the National Health Insurance scheme due to Mr. Joseph Butler, Kirkconnel, Dumfriesshire, to be made to this gentleman; and is he aware that these payments appear to have been delayed since the beginning of December, 1921, when the Scottish Board of Health decided that the applicant was not entitled to an old age pension?

The question as to whether health insurance benefit should be paid in this case falls to be decided by the approved society of which Mr., Butler is a. member. The Scottish Board of Health have reported the particulars of the case to the society. The decision on the old age pension appeal was given on 20th April, 1922. I understand that the membership number furnished by Mr. Butler to the society has proved to be wrong, and inquiries are proceeding with a view to tracing the membership. This must necessarily cause some delay.