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] i BRECONSHIRE INSURANCE…

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BRECONSHIRE INSURANCE COM- T MITTEE. Review of a Year's Work. At the Breconshire Insurance Committee, en Wednesday in last week, the Clerk (Mr Edwin Davies) made the following interest- i* statement with regard to the work of tlfe Breconehire Insurance Committee for the year 1914. MEDICAL BENEFIT. The year 1914 opened with arrangements for placing in the hands of every insured person a medical card, and this work was completed by your committee before the end of March. As was perhaps to be expected, large numbers of these cards were returned to the office undelivered, in consequence of ehangea of address and removals from the area. But as the success of the whole medical card scheme depended upon these cards getting into the possession of the insured, the cards in your area were posted and re-posted with that object. It is important that an insured person should possess a medical card, and there is no reason now why the insured should not be in full possession of the facts relating to the use of this card, which acts not only as a passport for medical benefit in the area in which they live, but are to be used as a transfer card when removing, and, also, as a warrant under which temporary treatment may be obtained in any district for a period not exceeding three months. There would appear to be some miscon- ception as to the uses of the medical card, but if every insured person would read the instructions, as given on page 2, many of the difficulties and misunderstandings which arise would disappear. It is a frequent occurence for an insured person to call upon a doctor and ask for temporary treatment as an insured person, and fail to present a medical card. The doctor may, perhaps, give treatment as a private patient and make a charge, or he may refuse to treat the person altogether. The insured feels that an injustice has been done, in either case, and generally blames the doctor or the Insurance Committee. The fault is entirely the insured person's own, because if the medical card were produced BO such trouble would be experienced. Then attention has been called to another matter in relation to removals. The hiring fairs in Breconshire account for a great many changes, and insured who reside in one part of the county one half-year may remove to other parts in the next. In hardly any of the cases are changes of address notified to anybody administering the insurance benefits, and very often inconvenience occur. For instance, a man resides above Brecon and is on the panel of a Brecon doctor. Without giving notice, the man removes to a farm below the town, and a message comes to the doctor that this man is ill. The doctor consults his records, and firirja t.hfi man livpd at a certain farm in the parish of Llanddew, and proceeds to visit the man. When the doctor reaches the farm in Llanddew he finds the man removed last fair to a farm in the parish of Llanfrynach. This is given as an instance of what has actually occurred. It should be the duty of the insured person to give immediate notice of change of address, and if this were done much inconvenience to doctors, secretaries of approved societies, and insurance committees would be saved, and would also ensure to the insured prompt treatment. In connection with the issue of medical cards and the efforts to adjust removals from one county to another, your committee has dealt with 7,687 forms Med. 50 during 1914. A great deal of this expensive work would be avoided if the medical card were used in the way intended. There are placed before you certain tabulated forms relating to the payment made under the head of medical benefit. For the year 1914 there were 45 medical practioners on the panel, but, in consequence of deaths and the outbreak of war, the panel before the end of the year was reduced to 39. The total on the panel for the first quarter of 1914 was 13,938, in the second 14,221, in the third 15,511, and in the fourth 15,019. The largest single panel was in the last quarter-1453. One firm of two doctors had a panel of 1418, and another doctor bad a total of nearly 1000. One had a panel of just over 800, four just over 600, five over 500, three over 400, four over 300, five over 200, eight over 100. and the lowest panel numbered 1. Drs. J. S. Townley, Richardson-White, T. P. Thomas, Bickerton Edwards, and F. W. Mathieson, were. almost immediately war was declared, called up for military service. Dr. Coltson Williams also joined the Army for medical purposes. As to payments made for medical service, the totals for the year 1914 amount to £4,822 17s 3d, as follows:—1st quarter, £1,216 6s 9d 2nd quarter, £ 1,241 19s 6d 3rd quarter, £1,345--0s 6d; 4th quarter, £1,008 10s 6d. In the last quarter a sum of 25 per cent. was deducted pending the receipt of medical credit for 1914. In addition to these sums payments, have been made in settlement of temporary residents, the mileage grant for 1913, and the unaasigned residue for the same period. These figures have already been placed before you in detail, but the totals amount to nearly £1,500. The chemists accounts for the year 1914 were paid in full less the sums deducted on checking. The total prescriptions issued for the year was 23,921, and the cost after checking X782. As your committee will have noticed, a sub-committee is now sitting on the scrutiny and checking of prescrip- tions, and when this work is completed, comparative tables will be submitted for your information and consideration. SANATORIUM BENEFIT. There were 72 applications for treatment in 1914-38 men and 32 women. Of these, 9 were certified by Dr. Johnson as showing no signs of active disease, and of the remain- ing 61, 30 were treated in Hospitals and Sanatoria, and 22 at Dispensaries, and 9 as domiciliary patients. But it would be correct also to say that the whole of these cases came under the notice of Dr Johnson and his staff, fur treatment at the institutes at some time or other. It is to be noted that the application for treatment are increasing in number, and it would appear that if any suspicion of the existence of tuberculosis arises, the cases go forward to Dr. Johnson, and many cases recently treated have been returned as showing no sign of active disease. But the

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] i BRECONSHIRE INSURANCE…