§ Mr. Gorst
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will take steps to give a statutory right of appeal to people who believe they suffer from pneumoconiosis, silicosis, asbestosis and other prescribed industrial diseases for which disablement benefits are payable but whose claims are rejected by the pneumoconiosis medical boards.
§ Mr. Orme
There are already such rights of appeal to a medical appeal tribunal against diagnosis decisions given by pneumoconiosis medical boards in relation to all the prescribed industrial chest diseases for which these boards are responsible. However, for pneumoconiosis—which includes silicosis and80W asbestosis—and for byssinosis the newly introduced right of appeal which applies to decisions given by pneumoconiosis medical boards on or after 31st January 1977 is subject to certain conditions; the main condition is that the claimant has been examined by a pneumoconiosis medical board on a total of four occasions and found not to be suffering from the disease.