Hearing Aids

Oral Answers to Questions — National Health Service – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 15th December 1949.

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Photo of Mr Gerald Williams Mr Gerald Williams , Tonbridge 12:00 am, 15th December 1949

asked the Minister of Health, if he has now discovered the percentage of persons who cannot be fitted with the Medresco hearing aid; and if he now proposes to allow distributing centres of aids to the hard of hearing to supply other hearing aids until the new Medresco is ready.

Photo of Mr Aneurin Bevan Mr Aneurin Bevan , Ebbw Vale

I am advised that the percentage likely to benefit from a different electrical aid is less than 5. The answer to the second part of the Question is "No, Sir."

Photo of Mr Gerald Williams Mr Gerald Williams , Tonbridge

Will the Minister bear in mind that even when the Medresco hearing aid is available in quantity it will not suit everybody, and will he therefore give the makers of other hearing aids a chance of letting the public have them?

Photo of Mr Aneurin Bevan Mr Aneurin Bevan , Ebbw Vale

At the moment we are investigating the possibility of having an aid which will be suitable for the less than 5 per cent. of the hard of hearing, and when that aid is available it will be distributed freely like the Medresco aid.

Photo of Mr Daniel Lipson Mr Daniel Lipson , Cheltenham

Can my right hon. Friend say when he will be able to announce the result of these investigations?

Photo of Mr Aneurin Bevan Mr Aneurin Bevan , Ebbw Vale

I hope before long, but as these are scientific investigations I cannot give a definite time.

Photo of Mr William Shepherd Mr William Shepherd , Bucklow

Are we to take it that these unfortunate 5 per cent. are to wait without any relief because of the obstinacy of the Minister?

Photo of Mr Aneurin Bevan Mr Aneurin Bevan , Ebbw Vale

No, but what I am not prepared to do is to mulct the taxpayers of Great Britain to provide commercial aids.