§ 29. Mr. GOULD
asked the Minister of Labour, as representing the Ministry of Health, whether there is any limitation to the number of insured persons on a panel doctor's list; what is the average amount of remuneration received by doctors on the panel list; and whether, on the whole, insured persons are receiving the same consideration and attention as private patients?
§ Sir M. BARLOW
The limit of the number of insured persons whom an insurance practitioner may have on his list is fixed for each area jointly by the Insurance Committee and the Medical Panel Committee. No practitioner working single-handed may have more than 3,000 persons on his list, and in a considerable number of areas a lower maximum of 2,500 or 2,000 has been fixed. Taking the country 2924 as a whole, the average number of insured persons per doctor is approximately 1,000 and the corresponding remuneration, including mileage payments, would be slightly less than £500 a year. Insurance practitioners are expected to give the same standard of treatment, within the scope of their terms of service, to insured persons as they would to private patients.
§ 30. Mr. GOULD
asked the Minister of Labour, as representing the Ministry of Health, whether he will state the procedure which can be adopted by insured persons who receive medical attention from their own private doctor to obtain a return of that portion of their insurance contribution which is allocated for the purposes of treatment by panel doctors?
§ Sir M. BARLOW
An insured person who desires to be treated by a practitioner not under agreement with an Insurance Committee may apply to the Insurance Committee for the area in which he resides for permission to make his own arrangements. If permission is granted a contribution will be made by the Committee towards the cost of the treatment so obtained. The Insurance Committee has full discretion in considering applications of this nature. There is no provision in the Acts for any reduction in the contribution payable by or in respect of an insured person on the ground that he does not take advantage of the arrangement made under these Acts to provide him with medical treatment.