Road Traffic (NHS Charges) Bill — Abolition of emergency treatment fee — 21 Jan 1999

As amended (in the Standing Committee), considered.

I beg to move, That the clause be read a Second time.

In previous debates on the Bill, we have heard the Government boast of the abolition of the emergency treatment fee as it applies to hospitals. The Liberal Democrats strongly support that on the basis that the fee was bureaucratic and on the basis of the Government's further justifications for the move, which are that it is offensive to patients arriving in hospital to be asked to pay a fee and that the amount raised does not compensate for the bureaucratic nightmare of collecting it.

The Bill, in its current form, is inadequate because it does not remove the emergency treatment fee as chargeable by general practitioners. Liberal Democrats see hardly any difference between the bureaucracy involved in collecting the general practitioner emergency treatment fee and that involved in collecting the hospital emergency treatment fee. There is also very little difference between the difficulties of approaching people who may have been injured in an accident, albeit always the driver in the case of the GP fee, and patients arriving in hospital for treatment following a road traffic accident. There is certainly no difference in the lack of information about whether it is worth while for the fee to be collected by front-line health service staff.

I wonder whether the Government, even at this late stage, will consider accepting the new clause on the basis that it fits in with the rationale of their original motives in the Bill.

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health (Mr. John Hutton):

As I understand it, the hon. Gentleman is seeking to remove the right of independent contractors--GPs--to claim the emergency treatment fee. Has the hon. Gentleman sought the views of the British Medical Association on this matter and what opinion has it expressed to him?

Question put , That the clause be read a Second time:--

The House divided: Ayes 28, Noes 208.

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Mr Martin BellTattonIndependentaye
Bob AinsworthCoventry North EastLab (minister)no
Graham AllenNottingham NorthLab (minister)no
Janet AndersonRossendale and DarwenLab (minister)no
Mr Joe AshtonBassetlawLabno
John AustinErith and ThamesmeadLabno
Mr Harry BarnesNorth East DerbyshireLabno
Hugh BayleyCity of YorkLab (minister)no
Margaret BeckettDerby SouthLab (minister)no
Anne BeggAberdeen SouthLab (minister)no
Mr Tony BennChesterfieldLabno
Roger BerryKingswoodLabno
Mr Harold BestLeeds North WestLabno
Clive BettsSheffield, AttercliffeLab (minister)tellno
Bob BlizzardWaveneyLabno
David BorrowSouth RibbleLabno
Mr Keith BradleyManchester, WithingtonLab (minister)no
Mr Peter BradleyThe WrekinLabno
Ben BradshawExeterLab (minister)no
Russell BrownDumfriesLabno
Karen BuckRegent's Park and Kensington NorthLab (minister)no
Mrs Christine ButlerCastle PointLabno
Mrs Anne CampbellCambridgeLabno
Ronnie CampbellBlyth ValleyLab (minister)no
Mr Ivor CaplinHoveLabno
Martin CatonGowerLab (minister)no
Ian CawseyBrigg and GooleLabno
Ben ChapmanWirral SouthLabno
David ChaytorBury NorthLabno
Malcolm ChisholmEdinburgh North and LeithLabno
Michael ClaphamBarnsley West and PenistoneLabno
Dr Lynda ClarkEdinburgh PentlandsLab (minister)no
Mr Tony ClarkeNorthampton SouthLabno
David ClellandTyne BridgeLab (minister)no
Vernon CoakerGedlingLab (minister)no
Ann CoffeyStockportLabno
Mr Iain ColemanHammersmith and FulhamLabno
Mr Tony ColmanPutneyLabno
Michael ConnartyFalkirk EastLab (minister)no
Frank CookStockton NorthLabno
Yvette CooperPontefract and CastlefordLab (minister)no
Jeremy CorbynIslington NorthLabno
Ms Jean CorstonBristol EastLabno
Mr Tom CoxTootingLabno
Professor Ross CranstonDudley NorthLab (minister)no
Ann CryerKeighleyLabno
John CryerHornchurchLab (minister)no
John CummingsEasingtonLabno
Jim CunninghamCoventry SouthLab (minister)no
Mr Denzil DaviesLlanelliLabno
Geraint DaviesCroydon CentralLab (minister)no
Mr Terry DavisBirmingham, Hodge HillLabno
Janet DeanBurtonLabno
Andrew DismoreHendonLabno
Frank DoranAberdeen CentralLabno
Jim DowdLewisham WestLab (minister)no
David DrewStroudLab (minister)no
Angela EagleWallaseyLab (minister)no
Maria EagleLiverpool, GarstonLab (minister)no
Clive EffordElthamLab (minister)no
Louise EllmanLiverpool, RiversideLab (minister)no
Bill EtheringtonSunderland NorthLabno
Mark FisherStoke-on-Trent CentralLabno
Jim FitzpatrickPoplar and Canning TownLabno
Paul FlynnNewport WestLabno
Barbara FollettStevenageLabno
Michael Jabez FosterHastings and RyeLabno
Mr George FoulkesCarrick, Cumnock and Doon ValleyLab (minister)no
Mrs Maria FyfeGlasgow MaryhillLabno
George GallowayGlasgow KelvinLabno
Barry GardinerBrent NorthLab (minister)no
Neil GerrardWalthamstowLabno
Dr Norman GodmanGreenock and InverclydeLabno
Paul GogginsWythenshawe and Sale EastLabno
Mrs Eileen GordonRomfordLabno
Ms Jane GriffithsReading EastLabno
Nigel GriffithsEdinburgh SouthLabno
Mr Bruce GrocottTelfordLabno
John GroganSelbyLab (minister)no
Mr John GunnellMorley and RothwellLabno
Mike HallWeaver ValeLab (minister)tellno
Patrick HallBedfordLabno
David HansonDelynLab (minister)no
Sylvia HealHalesowen and Rowley Regiswhilst Labno
John HealeyWentworthLab (minister)no
Mr Ivan HendersonHarwichLabno
John HeppellNottingham EastLabno
Keith HillStreathamLab (minister)no
Mr David HinchliffeWakefieldLabno
Kate HoeyVauxhallLab (minister)no
John Home RobertsonEast LothianLabno
Beverley HughesStretford and UrmstonLabno
Mr Kevin HughesDoncaster NorthLab (minister)no
Mr Alan HurstBraintreeLabno
John HuttonBarrow and FurnessLab (minister)no
Brian IddonBolton South EastLabno
Mrs Helen JacksonSheffield, HillsboroughLabno
Brian JenkinsTamworthLabno
Helen JonesWarrington NorthLab (minister)no
Ms Jenny JonesWolverhampton South WestLabno
Martyn JonesClwyd SouthLabno
Sally KeebleNorthampton NorthLabno
Ruth KellyBolton WestLabno
Jane KennedyLiverpool, WavertreeLab (minister)no
Peter KilfoyleLiverpool, WaltonLab (minister)no
Mr Andy KingRugby and KenilworthLabno
Ms Tess KinghamGloucesterLabno
Stephen LadymanSouth ThanetLabno
Bob LaxtonDerby NorthLabno
David LepperBrighton, PavilionLabno
Chris LeslieShipleyLabno
Ivan LewisBury SouthLab (minister)no
Martin LintonBatterseaLabno
Tony LloydManchester CentralLab (minister)no
Mr David LockWyre ForestLabno
Andrew LoveEdmontonLab (minister)no
Mr Calum MacDonaldNa h-Eileanan an IarLab (minister)no
Mrs Alice MahonHalifaxLabno
Judy MallaberAmber ValleyLabno
Mr Peter MandelsonHartlepoolLabno
Dr John MarekWrexhamLabno
Mr Paul MarsdenShrewsbury and AtchamLabno
David MarshallGlasgow ShettlestonLabno
Dr Jim MarshallLeicester SouthLabno
Eric MartlewCarlisleLabno
John McAllionDundee EastLabno
Thomas McAvoyGlasgow RutherglenLab (minister)no
Steve McCabeBirmingham, Hall GreenLab (minister)no
John Martin McDonnellHayes and HarlingtonLabno
Anne McGuireStirlingLab (minister)no
Shona McIsaacCleethorpesLabno
Tony McNultyHarrow EastLabno
Mr Tony McWalterHemel HempsteadLabno
Gillian MerronLincolnLabno
Mr Bill MichieSheffield, HeeleyLabno
Alan MilburnDarlingtonLab (minister)no
Andrew MillerEllesmere Port and NestonLabno
Austin MitchellGreat GrimsbyLab (minister)no
Margaret MoranLuton SouthLabno
Julie MorganCardiff NorthLabno
Chris MullinSunderland SouthLabno
Denis MurphyWansbeckLabno
Doug NaysmithBristol North WestLabno
Dan NorrisWansdykeLabno
Mr Bill O'BrienNormantonLabno
Edward O'HaraKnowsley SouthLabno
Mrs Diana OrganForest of DeanLabno
Sandra OsborneAyrLab (minister)no
Nick PalmerBroxtoweLabno
Ian PearsonDudley SouthLabno
Ms Linda PerhamIlford NorthLabno
Mr Colin PickthallWest LancashireLabno
Mr Peter PikeBurnleyLabno
James PlaskittWarwick and LeamingtonLabno
Mr Kerry PollardSt AlbansLabno
Mr Chris PondGraveshamLabno
Greg PopeHyndburnLab (minister)no
Steve PoundEaling NorthLab (minister)no
Bridget PrenticeLewisham EastLabno
Gordon PrenticePendleLabno
Gwyn ProsserDoverLabno
Ms Joyce QuinGateshead East and Washington WestLab (minister)no
Mr Lawrie QuinnScarborough and WhitbyLabno
Mr Giles RadiceNorth DurhamLab (minister)no
Bill RammellHarlowLabno
Mr Syd RapsonPortsmouth NorthLabno
Andy ReedLoughboroughLabno
Mr Jeff RookerBirmingham, Perry BarrLab (minister)no
Mr Ernie RossDundee WestLabno
Chris RuaneVale of ClwydLab (minister)no
Christine RussellCity of ChesterLabno
Joan RyanEnfield NorthLabno
Martin SalterReading WestLabno
Mr Malcolm SavidgeAberdeen NorthLabno
Mr Phil SawfordKetteringLabno
Mr Brian SedgemoreHackney South and ShoreditchLabno
Jonathan R ShawChatham and AylesfordLabno
Mr Robert SheldonAshton-under-LyneLab (minister)no
Ms Debra ShipleyStourbridgeLabno
Alan SimpsonNottingham SouthLabno
Dennis SkinnerBolsoverLabno
Andrew SmithOxford EastLab (minister)no
Angela SmithBasildonLabno
Geraldine SmithMorecambe and LunesdaleLabno
John SmithVale of GlamorganLabno
Mr Clive SoleyEaling, Acton and Shepherd's BushLab (minister)no
Helen SouthworthWarrington SouthLabno
Phyllis StarkeyMilton Keynes South WestLabno
Mr Gerry SteinbergCity of DurhamLabno
Mr David StewartInverness East, Nairn and LochaberLabno
Gavin StrangEdinburgh East and MusselburghLabno
Graham StringerManchester, BlackleyLab (minister)no
Gisela StuartBirmingham, EdgbastonLabno
Gerry SutcliffeBradford SouthLabno
Mrs Ann TaylorDewsburyLab (minister)no
David TaylorNorth West LeicestershireLabno
Gareth ThomasHarrow WestLab (minister)no
Stephen TimmsEast HamLab (minister)no
Paddy TippingSherwoodLab (minister)no
Mark ToddSouth DerbyshireLabno
Don TouhigIslwynLabno
Dr George TurnerNorth West NorfolkLabno
Stephen TwiggEnfield, SouthgateLab (minister)no
Rudi VisFinchley and Golders GreenLabno
Robert WareingLiverpool, West DerbyLabno
Mr Brian WhiteNorth East Milton KeynesLabno
Alan WhiteheadSouthampton, TestLab (minister)no
Alan WilliamsSwansea WestLabno
Mike WoodBatley and SpenLabno
Phil WoolasOldham East and SaddleworthLabno
Mr Tony WorthingtonClydebank and MilngavieLabno
Mr Richard AllanSheffield, HallamLDem (front bench)aye
Alan BeithBerwick-upon-TweedLDem (front bench)aye
Tom BrakeCarshalton and WallingtonLDem (front bench)aye
Dr Peter BrandIsle of WightLDemaye
Colin BreedSouth East CornwallLDemtellaye
Malcolm BruceGordonLDemaye
Mr John BurnettTorridge and West DevonLDemaye
Mr David ChidgeyEastleighLDem (front bench)aye
Mr Brian CotterWeston-Super-MareLDem (front bench)aye
Don FosterBathLDem (front bench)aye
Andrew GeorgeSt IvesLDem (front bench)aye
Mike HancockPortsmouth SouthLDem (front bench)aye
Evan HarrisOxford West and AbingdonLDemaye
David HeathSomerton and FromeLDem (front bench)aye
Simon HughesNorth Southwark and BermondseyLDem (front bench)aye
Charles KennedyRoss, Skye and Inverness WestLDem (front bench)aye
Mr Archy KirkwoodRoxburgh and BerwickshireLDem (front bench)aye
Mr Richard LivseyBrecon and RadnorshireLDem (front bench)aye
Michael MooreTweeddale, Ettrick and LauderdaleLDem (front bench)aye
Lembit ÖpikMontgomeryshireLDemaye
Mr David RendelNewburyLDemaye
Bob RussellColchesterLDem (front bench)aye
Adrian SandersTorbayLDem (front bench)aye
Robert SmithWest Aberdeenshire and KincardineLDemtellaye
Andrew StunellHazel GroveLDem (front bench)aye
Mr Paul TylerNorth CornwallLDem (front bench)aye
Phil WillisHarrogate and KnaresboroughLDemaye
Elfyn LlwydMeirionnydd Nant ConwyPC (front bench)aye
Alasdair MorganGalloway and Upper NithsdaleSNPaye

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