Go ndeontar suim ná raghaidh thar £200,124 chun slánuithe na suime is gá chun íoctha an Mhuirir a thiocfaidh chun bheith iníoctha i rith na bliana dar críoch an 31adh lá de Mhárta, 1939, chun Tuarastail agus Costaisí i dtaobh Riaracháin na nAchtanna um Arachas Sláinte Náisiúnta, 1911 go 1936, agus na nAchtanna um Pinsin do Bhaintreacha agus do Dhílleachtaithe, 1935 go 1937, agus chun Ilsíntiúisí agus Ildeontaisí, ar a n-áirmhítear Deontaisí áirithe i gCabhair mar gheall ar Chostas Sochar agus Costaisí Riaracháin fé sna hAchtanna um Arachas Sláinte Náisiúnta.
That a sum not exceeding £200,124 be granted to complete the sum necessary to defray the Charge which will come in course of payment during the year ending on the 31st day of March, 1939, for Salaries and Expenses in connection with the Administration of the National Health Insurance Acts, 1911 to 1936, and the Widows' and Orphans' Pensions Acts, 1935 to 1937, and for sundry Contributions and Grants, including certain Grants-in-Aid in respect of the Cost of Benefits and Expenses of Administration under the National Health Insurance Acts.
The sum now asked for is to complete the sum of £300,124 required under the National Health Insurance Vote for 1938-1939. The figure covers the cost of central administration of national health insurance, and also the cost incurred for staff, etc., of the department engaged in the administration of widows' and orphans' pensions. It also includes the amount required for the Statutory Exchequer Grants for national health insurance, and expenditure in connection with the district medical referee service.
There is an increase of £4,400 in respect of the Statutory Exchequer Grants due to the increasing number of insured persons. There is also an increase of £4,014 due to additional provision for salaries arising out of the increased cost-of-living bonus and increments. Small increases under sub-heads AA, B and D are also shown. There is an offset of £2,898 under subhead H—Appropriations-in-Aid. The net increase in the Estimate as compared with the year 1937-38 is £6,040.
During the year 1937 the Unified Society continued its operations under the direction of the committee of management constituted under the provisions of the Act of 1936. The committee of management consists of a chairman, three trustees and three representatives of employers—all appointed by me—together with eight representatives of insured persons, of whom three are nominated by the Executive Council of the Irish Trade Union Congress and five are elected at an annual meeting of the electorate consisting of insured persons nominated by the councils of county boroughs and county councils.
I reappointed the Most Reverend Dr. Dignan, Bishop of Clonfert, as chairman and Dr. R. J. Rowlette, Mr. Thomas Foran and Mrs. Helena Concannon as trustees of the society. To the vacancy due to the regrettable death of Mr. Sean Noonan, of Free-mount, Charleville (one of the employers' representatives on the committee), I appointed Mr. William O'Callaghan, Lombardstown, Mallow, and reappointed Mr. John O'Neill, of Dublin, and Mr. William O'Meara, of Kilkenny, as the other employers' representatives.
In electing the five insured persons' representatives provision is made for two being representative of the province of Leinster, two for Munster and one for Connaught and part of Ulster. The persons elected in 1937 are residents of Dublin, Longford, Tralee, Mitchelstown, and Westport. All members of the committee hold office until the 31st July the year when new appointments and elections are necessary.
The membership of the society at the end of 1937 was about 580,000 and the number of insured persons in receipt of sickness and disablement benefits at 31st December, 1937, was 24,236, which is about the average throughout the year. It will be seen that the percentage of insured persons in receipt of those benefits is over 4 per cent.
The value of the contributions from employers and employees collected in 1937 was £703,000, an increase over the previous year of £28,000. The expenditure on benefits during the year amounted to £705,294, made up of ordinary cash benefits, £697,301; additional benefits, £7,993, showing a decrease from the previous year of £12,802 cash and of £20,453 additional benefits. The accumulated funds forming the assets of national health insurance amounted to £4,201,224, showing an increase of £258,984 during the year.
As I stated last year, it is proposed to have the whole question of the financial basis of the Acts investigated by the Actuary. The material for this investigation is under preparation by the Department and by the society. Although the contribution income is still increasing, I think that there is still considerable non-compliance with the provisions of the Acts. During 1937 it was found necessary to protect the interests of insured people by prosecutions of 697 employers. In addition, a sum of £366 was recovered from employers in respect of benefit lost by employees owing to the employers' failure to pay contributions.