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Aged Workers (National Health Insurance)

Volume 388: debated on Thursday 1 April 1943

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68 and 69.

asked the Minister of Health (1) how many of the men and women over 65 and 60 years of age, who have entered into industry since the war started, were not insured persons under the National Health Insurance;

(2) whether he is aware that a number of women over 60 years of age and a number of men over 65 years of age, who have not been insured under the National Health Insurance, have, owing to war emergency, entered industry and are debarred from having free medical attention; and will he examine the position to see whether something can be done to place them on the same footing as insured persons?

I regret that I am unable to furnish the hon. Member with the numbers of men over 65 and women over 60 who have entered industry since the war began and who were not previously insured under the National Health Insurance Acts. I am aware that these men and women are not entitled to medical benefit under those Acts, but, as I have already informed my hon. Friend in this House and in correspondence, it is not possible for such provision to be made within the present framework of the National Health Insurance scheme.

Cannot some attempt be made to meet this difficulty, because these people are coming forward very well and should be given the same facilities as those who are insured?

I do not think we can do anything without an alteration of the whole structure.