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National Health Insurance

Volume 387: debated on Wednesday 3 March 1943

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asked the Minister of Health whether he will give the text, the date and the legal authority for the amendments of National Health Insurance Regulations, 1936, empowering insurance committees to give effect to the arrangements described as voluntary, embodied in the British Medical Association's Probation Practices Scheme; and, inasmuch as these amendments have resulted in material restriction, as shown in examples submitted to him, of the insured person's statutory right under the Insurance Acts of free choice of doctor he will reconsider the position?

Where the arrangements in question are on a voluntary basis they are operated by means of reciprocal agreements between the practitioners participating therein and do not involve any amendments of the National Health Insurance Regulations of 1936, though insurance committees assist in their operation. The agreements do not, in my view, restrict the statutory right of insured persons as to choice of doctor and I see no sufficient reason for advising insurance committees to withdraw their assistance.