asked the Minister of Health what steps he is proposing to take to accelerate delivery of a hearing aid to a Surbiton resident, particulars of whom have been sent to him, who has been awaiting delivery of a hearing aid for over a year, and who has been informed that he will not receive it for a further two years.
As the hon. Member has been informed, this patient has no exceptional claim to priority. The service as a whole will be expanded as resources permit.
Does the right hon. Gentleman say that a delay of the nature set out in this Question is normal, or is this gentleman particularly unfortunate?
This citizen has been prevented from obtaining or has been unable to obtain, an aural aid for many years. We have issued 100,000 aural aids, and we are providing them first for individuals who need them urgently on medi- cal grounds, or for the purposes of employment.
Does that answer mean that people of this age must expect to wait three years?
People of this age never had a chance before to have these aids.
asked the Minister of Health whether he will expedite the delivery of a hearing aid to Mrs. M. McCarthy, 5 Buckingham Avenue, Thornton Heath, who was examined in November, 1948.
I am making inquiries and will write to the hon. Member.
Does not the Minister agree that a wait of some two years for the result of an examination is far too long?
It would be very desirable to be able to hand out hearing aids immediately. We have handed out over 100,000 of them, and the limitation now is in skilled personnel to examine the patients.