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Vaccination (International Certificates)

Volume 640: debated on Monday 8 May 1961

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asked the Minister of Health if local medical practitioners are entitled under his regulations to charge for signing International Certificates of Vaccination; and whether any recommendations have been issued regarding the insistence by some doctors on fees for this purpose.

The answer to the first part of the Question is "Yes" and to the second "No."

Does not the hon. Lady agree that it is rather mean for a doctor to charge for his signature on this document, which must be produced to prove vaccination, since otherwise the person concerned cannot go abroad? Will she recommend doctors called upon to vaccinate persons to add their signature without charge?

This certificate is not one that a doctor is required to give under the National Health Service, and the matter of the charge, therefore, is a private arrangement between patient and doctor and not one in which my right hon. Friend could take action.

Does not the hon. Lady think, however, that to charge for this signature is mean? Is it not the case that those of us who are asked to sign documents make no charges—indeed, do not wish to make charges? As doctors are quite well paid, is not this charge unnecessary?

This is a transaction which is outside the National Health Service, and I am afraid that I cannot comment on it.

On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. In view of the unsatisfactory nature of the reply, I beg to give notice that I will seek to raise this matter on the Adjournment at the earliest opportunity.