§ 26. Lieut.-Colonel FREMANTLE
asked the Minister of Health if he can arrange that the annual reports of medical officers of health, giving the vital statistics for the year under review, shall always give also the corresponding figures for the previous year and for the previous decades for which the figures are available?
§ The MINISTER of HEALTH (Mr. Arthur Greenwood)
It is open to a medical officer of health to include in his annual report any information which he considers it desirable to give. I do not, however, consider it necessary to require medical officers of health to include in their annual reports comparative figures on the lines suggested by the hon. and gallant Member, as a comparison year by 2442 year of the vital statistics for any administrative area can readily be obtained from an examination of the annual reports of the medical officer of health for that area or from the Statistical Review issued annually by the Registrar-General.
§ Lieut.-Colonel FREMANTLE
Does not the Minister recognise that the whole value of statistics is that they should be comparative in order to show whether there is progress, and that therefore it is essential to have the previous figures?
§ Mr. GREENWOOD
The hon. and gallant Member said last night that we must have economy in social services, and this is one of the economies that can be undertaken.
§ 27. Lieut.-Colonel FREMANTLE
asked the Minister of Health why Circular 1296, as to the contents of the annual reports of medical officers of health, does not ask for any report as to venereal diseases or vaccination under the vaccination laws; and whether he will take steps to include these matters to be dealt with in future?
§ Mr. GREENWOOD
As regards venereal diseases, annual returns of the work done at the treatment centres are already furnished to my Department by the medical officers in charge of the centres, but I will consider whether in future medical officers of health should be requested to deal specially with this subject in their annual reports. As regards vaccination, this work has only recently been transferred to the local authorities, and the question whether medical officers of health should be asked to deal in future with this subject in their annual reports will be considered.