§ 67. Mr. LEONARD
asked the Minister of Health whether he is aware that, following the decision of Rochdale doctors to send all abnormal maternity cases to hospital, the maternal death rate has 997 been reduced by 60 per cent.; and will he consider the desirability of urging an extension of this practice?
§ Mr. SHAKESPEARE
My right hon. Friend is aware that there has, happily, been a reduction in the maternal mortality rate in Rochdale which is, he is advised, due to the operation of a number of factors. It has been the practice of my Department for many years to urge the provision of hospital beds for abnormal maternity cases.
§ Mr. LEONARD
Is the hon. Gentleman aware that the practice referred to in the question is universal in Holland, where there is an exceptionally low maternal death rate, and if so, does he not consider it desirable to adopt the practice widespread in this country?