§ 5. Mr. O'GRADY
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether there is any intention to increase the medical staff of the Factory Department to deal with industrial diseases; whether he will consider the necessity of appointing medical referees to diagnose and report upon injuries, serious and otherwise, in cases where the victims of accidents are too poor to pay legal and medical costs; and whether he can state the number of qualified practitioners appointed in conjunction with the administration of the Factories Act and the regulations under the same?
§ The SECRETARY of STATE for the HOME DEPARTMENT (Mr. McKenna)
One medical inspector is being added to the staff, making three medical inspectors in all. Medical men are also appointed under the Act and regulations throughout the country for the purpose of examining children and young persons, inquiring into accidents and poisoning cases and examining workmen in certain dangerous industries; the number of these medical men is 2,118. I do not quite understand the second part of my hon. Friend's question. If he is referring to proceedings under the Compensation Act, a worker injured by accident is not required by that Act to obtain any medical certificate for the pur- 2043 pose of making a claim for compensation. A worker suffering from an industrial disease has to obtain a certificate from the certifying surgeon, but the fee is only 1s. in cases where the certifying surgeon gives the certificate on the result of the examination made by him in pursuance of his duties under the Factory Act, and 5s. in other cases; and if the worker is refused a certificate and appeals to the medical referee, the referee's fee is paid by the State. I have no evidence before me to show the need for any change in the system.