Venereal Disease (Prescription Charges)

Oral Answers to Questions — Social Services – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 14th April 1969.

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Photo of Mr Ken Lomas Mr Ken Lomas , Huddersfield West 12:00 am, 14th April 1969

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will introduce amending legislation to the National Health Service Act, 1952 to remove the exemption from the payment of prescription charges from those persons suffering from venereal disease.

Photo of Mr Ken Lomas Mr Ken Lomas , Huddersfield West

Is my right hon. Friend aware that, while I recognise that the treatment of venereal disease is a social necessity, many of my constituents are asking—in fact, they have written to me—why people who contract venereal disease "through pleasure" should be exempt from payment, while persons who contract arthritis as a result of work should have to pay? This has made nonsense of the system of prescription charges.

Photo of Mr Richard Crossman Mr Richard Crossman , Coventry East

The explanation is that we are signatories of the Brussels Agreement of 1924 under which we are obliged to provide free treatment for venereal disease.