Opticians (Superannuation)

Oral Answers to Questions — Ministry of Health – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 13th April 1959.

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Photo of Mr Arthur Blenkinsop Mr Arthur Blenkinsop , Newcastle upon Tyne East 12:00 am, 13th April 1959

asked the Minister of Health whether he will now arrange for ophthalmic opticians to contribute under the National Health Services Superannuation regulations in the same way as doctors and dentists.

Photo of Mr William Griffiths Mr William Griffiths , Manchester Exchange

asked the Minister of Health whether he is now prepared to include opticians employed in the National Health Service, under the Supplementary Ophthalmic Service, in a superannuation scheme similar to that in existence for general medical practitioners and dentists.

Photo of Mr Derek Walker-Smith Mr Derek Walker-Smith , Hertfordshire East

No, Sir. I am not satisfied that this proposal, which would require legislation, would be practicable.

Photo of Mr Arthur Blenkinsop Mr Arthur Blenkinsop , Newcastle upon Tyne East

Will not the right hon. and learned Gentleman agree that it is time to review the position, especially in view of the statutory registration of opticians? Is it not time that the matter was considered in the light of the changed conditions which now exist?

Photo of Mr Derek Walker-Smith Mr Derek Walker-Smith , Hertfordshire East

The statutory registration contained in the Opticians Act of last Session is not related to one of the main problems in this connection. As the hon. Member knows, many ophthalmic and dispensing opticians are employed by firms or companies which do not work wholly within the National Health Service but do a large proportion of their work on matters quite outside it.