asked the Minister of Health what is the approximate estimated cost of the services rendered by voluntary hospitals to members of approved societies; and what contributions are made by approved societies to the funds of voluntary hospitals in return for such services?
No material is available to enable any estimate to be made of the cost of the services rendered by voluntary hospitals to members of approved societies. The total amount allocated by societies in England in payments to hospitals under schemes consequent upon the second valuation was at the rate of about £300,000 per annum. Schemes based on the third valuation are at present in operation in societies covering only about one-quarter of the total insured population, but under those schemes the annual amount allocated to hospital benefit has been increased by about 14 per cent. above that previously allocated.
asked the Minister of Health if, in view of the fact that last year University College Hospital treated over 2,000 members of approved societies at a cost of £22,000, towards which the societies contributed only a little more than £3,000, and that of 124 of these societies whose members were admitted to the hospital 44 contributed part of the cost and 80 contributed nothing, he will take steps to bring the claims of the voluntary hospitals to the notice of approved societies in connection with the allocation of their disposable surpluses?
The attention of all approved societies has already been directed to the provisions of the National Health Insurance Act, under which they are empowered to allocate part of any disposable surplus disclosed on valuation to the making of payments to hospitals in respect of the maintenance and treatment of their members therein.
Is it not possible for the right hon. Gentleman to draw the attention of the societies to the fact, which they probably do not realise, that they are getting very much more from the voluntary hospitals than is covered by the small contributions which they make? I am sure they wish to pay their own way.
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that the great bulk of the workpeople who are compulsorily insured, are contributing week by week to the Hospital Saturday Fund?