Sickness Benefit

Oral Answers to Questions — Pensions and National Insurance – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 1 November 1965.

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Photo of Mr Harold Gurden Mr Harold Gurden , Birmingham, Selly Oak 12:00, 1 November 1965

asked the Minister of Pensions and National Insurance if she is aware that sickness payments are made on certificates issued by non-qualified persons at nature cute establishments; and what steps she will take to deal with this.

Photo of Mr Norman Pentland Mr Norman Pentland , Chester-le-Street

Sickness benefit is paid for incapacity for work and it is for the independent statutory authorities to decide whether a particular claimant satisfies this requirement. Where a claimant submits a certificate which has not been issued by a registered medical practitioner, these authorities are usually provided with a sick visitor's report and may themselves require the claimant to be medically examined by a regional medical officer of the appropriate health department. My right hon. Friend sees no reason for change.

Photo of Mr Harold Gurden Mr Harold Gurden , Birmingham, Selly Oak

Does not the Joint Parliamentary Secretary think that these certificates ought to be issued only by medical practitioners, and would he say what the B.M.A. has to say about this?

Photo of Mr Norman Pentland Mr Norman Pentland , Chester-le-Street

I know nothing about the B.M.A.'s attitude. The determining authority takes its decision in the light of all the evidence made available to it or for which it has asked. The medical certificate is only part of that evidence.