§ 41. Mr. Yates
asked the Minister of Health how many patients suffering from tuberculosis in Birmingham are awaiting admission to sanatoria; how many chronic cases are occupying treatment beds; and if he will take steps to facilitate the provision of hostels to relieve the congestion, and meet the needs of those requiring urgent attention.
§ Mr. Iain Macleod
On 31st December, 1952, the latest date for which I have information, there were 365 names on the waiting list: approximately 126 chronic cases are occupying treatment beds. The capital expenditure available for developments must depend on the urgency of other needs, but the regional hospital board concerned are spending £45,000 this year on improving facilities in their region for the treatment of tuberculosis, and propose to spend a further £47,000 in the coming year.
§ Mr. Yates
While appreciating that information, may I ask whether the Minister is aware that the Medical Officer of Health for the City of Birmingham stated in his report that 117 beds were blocked while urgent cases were needing treatment; and that according to the figures the situation today is much worse? Should not some representations be made or some assistance given to enable hostels 206 to be used in order to relieve the congestion?
§ Mr. Macleod
Perhaps the hon. Member will draw my attention to that report of the Medical Officer, and I will look at it personally.
§ Mr. Shurmer
Is the Minister aware that many of the waiting cases are living in the central areas under very bad conditions and are in contact with large families? Surely something ought to be done to get these people away from their homes to have treatment instead of leaving them in the back streets, in contact with other people?
§ Mr. Macleod
That is a very different question and one partly for my right hon. Friend the Minister of Housing and Local Government.