asked the Minister of Health what persons are covered by the term "priority classes for hospital treatment," under the Emergency Medical Service; and whether, having regard to the strain imposed upon men and women engaged in war production, he will extend the provisions now limited to the priority class to men and women so engaged?
There are various classes of patients included in the emergency hospital scheme, comprising members of His Majesty's Forces, air raid casualties, Civil Defence workers injured on duty and other classes, a list of which I will send my hon. Friend, But the arrangements are designed to avoid interference with the admission to hospital of other persons in need of in-patient treatment. There should be no priority for admission to hospital other than that indicated by the medical needs of the patient. As regards workers engaged on war production, my hon. Friend will see from the list that those who have been transferred from their home areas are already included in the scheme, as also are those sustaining fractures, whether they are in their home areas or not. Other war workers remaining at home should have access to their normal hospital facilities and, if these are subjected to undue pressure owing to war conditions, arrangements are made under the Emergency Scheme to transfer patients to other suitable hospitals, so that those requiring treatment may not be debarred from it.