HC Deb 20 February 1945 vol 408 cc612-3
13. Mr. Hogg

asked the Secretary of State for War what special steps have been taken to diagnose and treat cases of tuberculosis among returned prisoners of war.

Sir J. Grigg

All returned prisoners of war are given a careful general medical examination as soon as possible after their return to this country. In cases in which there is the slightest reason to suspect the presence of tuberculosis, they are referred for specialist examination and, if necessary, for appropriate treatment in military hospitals and certain E.M.S. hospitals until such time as they can be transferred to civil sanatoria with which my right hon. Friend the Minister of Health is concerned.

Mr. Hogg

Having regard to the increased danger of tuberculosis among prisoners of war, would it be practicable to arrange for them to be radiographed when they come back to this country?

Sir J. Grigg

We are considering what further steps we can take. I am not sure whether there is sufficient equipment and medical skill available now to test them all but we are asking the Germans, through the Protecting Power, to give us a list of the latest dates on which our prisoners were examined by radiograph in Germany. That may help in getting a further line on the medical condition of these men.

Dr. Edith Summerskill

In view of the fact that the Minister of Health told us that there were 4,000 tuberculous persons awaiting admission to sanatoria, can the right hon. Gentleman assure us that no returned prisoner of war or ex-Serviceman is among the 4,000?

Sir J. Grigg

I did not notice that answer but I have been in communication with the Minister of Health in regard to the admission, as a temporary measure, of some of these tuberculous cases to E.M.S. hospitals.