asked the Minister of Health if he is aware that the new regulation recently made under the National Health Insurance Acts merely regularises a practice which has been in existence for many years of permitting a doctor to charge a fee for treating an insured person if such person declares in writing that he does not desire treatment under the Insurance Acts, and that this new regulation was discussed so long ago as September, 1930; and whether its proposal originated from the Ministry of Health or from representatives of the medical profession?
Sir H. YOUNG:
The position is stated with substantial accuracy in the first part of my hon. Friend's question, subject to the qualifications that no new regulation has yet been actually made or even published in draft, and that the requirement of a written request is a new requirement which was designed as a further safeguard for the interests of insured persons. The answer to the second part of the question is that the provision referred to was proposed by the Ministry of Health itself for inclusion in a general redraft of certain parts of the Medical Benefit Regulations designed to make them clearer and easier to administer in regard to fee charging and other matters.
Are there any grounds for the suggestion that the doctors will make large sums of money out of the new regulation and so recoup themselves for their losses on the economy proposals?