HC Deb 15 February 1940 vol 357 cc943-4
41. Mr. Gallacher

asked the Minister of Health whether he is aware that many hospitals have closed down their massage departments as a war-time economy, and that as a consequence, not only have a number of skilled masseurs been thrown out of employment, but great hardship has been caused to thousands of patients; and whether, as the cessation of massage treatment for such complaints as rheumatism will cause many post-war cripples, he will take steps to get massage facilities brought up to at least a pre-war level?

Mr. Elliot

I appreciate the importance of maintaining massage facilities, and inquiries which I have made show that, although there was at the beginning of the war some curtailment of the work of the massage departments of some hospitals, there has been a general reopening of out-patient departments at which massage treatment is given. I may add that provision for massage is also being considerably increased under the emergency hospital scheme.

Mr. Gallacher

Is the Minister aware that there is a large number of masseurs unemployed at the present time, and in view of the condition of victims of rheumatism, will he take steps at the earliest possible moment to see that these people are employed?

Mr. Elliot

That is being done by the out-patients' departments of these hospitals,