HC Deb 25 March 1952 vol 498 cc180-1
10. Mr. William Reid

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland the total number of deaths in Glasgow from pulmonary tuberculosis in 1949, 1950 and 1951, respectively.

Commander Galbraith

There were 1,098 deaths in 1949 and 918 deaths in 1950. The provisional figure for 1951 is 650.

Mr. Reid

While thanking the hon. and gallant Gentleman for those figures, which I can assure him will give great satisfaction in the City of Glasgow, might I ask him whether he attributes this big reduction to improved medical treatment through the introduction of streptomycin or the protection of contacts by V.C.G.?

Commander Galbraith

The precise reasons for the marked drop in the last two or three years are not known; but recent improvement in the method of treatment of the disease and earlier diagnosis and treatment of new cases are all playing a part in the downward trend.

Mr. A. Woodburn

Can the hon. and gallant Gentleman assure the House that the utmost and speediest attention is being given to any additional precautionary measures that might be taken in these matters, such as some of the new drugs which are being tried out; and that Scotland will not be behind-hand in introducing these new methods of dealing with this disease? Also, is he aware that some of this improvement is undoubtedly due to the steps that were taken to provide special housing and other facilities of protection in the earlier period mentioned?

Commander Galbraith

Yes, Sir.

Mr. Malcolm MacMillan

Is the hon. and gallant Gentleman now willing to unsay all the criticisms of the right hon. and gallant Member for Kelvingrove (Lieut.-Colonel Elliot) who attributed the rising rate to Socialism and rationing? How does he explain the decline?

27. Mrs. Cullen

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland the number of tuberculosis patients in Glasgow awaiting admission to hospital; and how many have been on the waiting list more than 12 months.

Commander Galbraith

At the end of February there were 549 Glasgow patients awaiting hospital treatment for respiratory tuberculosis, of whom 122 had been on the waiting list for more than 12 months. I should add that patients are admitted from the waiting list in accordance with relative urgency, not by reference only to the date of first application.

Mrs. Cullen

Is the hon. and gallant Gentleman aware that the majority of tuberculosis cases are aged between 15 and 35 years and that most of them live in congested areas and overcrowded homes? Is he aware that by the time they are admited to hospital any hope of recovery is gone?

Commander Galbraith

I am afraid I am not able to accept entirely what the hon. Lady has said.