asked the Minister of Pensions whether he is aware that the Ministry are referring disabled men for treatment to the panel doctor but, in some cases, refusing the recommendation of that panel doctor so far as the payment of treatment allowances is concerned: and whether he will see that due regard is paid by the Ministry to the treatment prescribed by the panel doctor in so far as it affects the treatment allowances Regulations?
I would remind my hon. Friend that the conditions governing the grant of allowances under Article 6 of the Royal Warrant are not identical with those which determine certification for the purpose of Health Insurance, with which the insurance practitioner is concerned. For the purpose of the former allowances, certification by a medical officer of the Ministry is required under the terms of the Warrant. At the same time any information which may be supplied by a panel doctor with regard to one of his pensioner patients is always taken into careful consideration in connection with any certificate required to be given by an officer of the Ministry.
Is the right hon. Gentleman not aware that where a local panel doctor has supplied treatment and allowances are necessary because of the peculiar kind of work of the individual, invariably they are ignored, while the income of the man receiving panel treatment is absolutely nil? Does he not think consideration might be given to those cases?
Should not special cases, for instance where a coal miner is not able to follow his work owing to his injuries, be reconsidered in the light of the panel doctor's recommendation?