HC Deb 14 April 1953 vol 514 cc13-5
15. Mrs. Mann

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland how many Scottish tubercular patients are receiving treatment outwith Scotland; where the sanatoria concerned are situated; what is the cost, per patient, in these sanatoria; and what is the corresponding cost in Scottish sanatoria.

Mr. J. Stuart

The present number receiving such treatment under National Health Service arrangements is 195, in three sanatoria in Switzerland. The average daily cost of treatment is about 30s., or 34s. 4d. allowing for transport and incidentals such as dental treatment. The average daily cost in Scottish sanatoria is about 23s. 6d.

Mrs. Mann

Could the Secretary of State say if there are—[HON. MEMBERS: "Speak up."] On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, I do not intend to speak up. I am sorry for interrupting hon. Members on the benches but, if they will stop speaking, they will hear my voice. Can the right hon. Gentleman say how many patients are being treated in Denmark?

Mr. Stuart

I believe that there are 12 Scottish children being treated in Denmark through the generosity of the Anglo-Danish Society.

Captain Duncan

Is my right hon. Friend aware of the shortage of doctors and nursing staff in tuberculosis hospitals in Scotland, and would it not be possible to do away with these shortages since it would mean a saving of the difference between 34s. and 23s, a day of the taxpayers' money?

Mr. Stuart

Yes, I am aware of that.

18. Mr. Woodburn

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland how far the eradication of tuberculosis in cattle is detrimental to human immunity from the disease; and whether he will give an authoritative report on the value of the attested cattle scheme in relation to public health.

Mr. J. Stuart

I know of no scientific foundation for any assertions that the eradication of tuberculosis in cattle is detrimental to human immunity from the disease. The number of new cases of non-respiratory tuberculosis in Scotland, which was largely of bovine origin, has fallen by more than 50 per cent. since the introduction of the Attested Herd Scheme.

Mr. Woodburn

Will the right hon. Gentleman try to give publicity to these facts, because there are in Scotland suggestions that the attestation of cattle is detrimental to success in eliminating tuberculosis from human beings?

Mr. Stuart

I will gladly give the fullest possible publicity.

Colonel Gomme-Duncan

Will my right hon. Friend go into this in more detail than his statement, in view of the figures produced by a qualified veterinary surgeon, which are causing a certain amount of disturbance in the public mind?

Mr. Stuart

Yes. I assure my hon. and gallant Friend that I will do what I can. Medical advice is to the effect that it is impossible to correlate the incidence of respiratory tuberculosis with the safety of the milk supply reaching the consumer. I have no reason to suppose that there is anything to support the theories to which the right hon. Gentleman and my hon. and gallant Friend have referred.

19. Mr. Woodburn

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland to what extent in the counties of Scotland with a relatively high incidence of pulmonary tuberculosis, a connection can be traced between that rate and the proportion of attested cattle in the same area.

Mr. J. Stuart

The increase in the number of new cases of respiratory tuberculosis notified since 1939 is due to a variety of causes, including better means of diagnosis, which cannot be precisely assessed. Good progress has been made with the eradication of tuberculosis in cattle, but I am advised that the coincidence of such progress with increased respiratory notifications in several areas in no way establishes a relationship of cause and effect.