HC Deb 21 January 1954 vol 522 cc1172-3
5. Mr. P. Morris

asked the Minister of Health the number of people in Wales being treated for tuberculosis; and the annual death rate from that disease during the last three years.

Mr. Iain Macleod

The number of tuberculosis beds in Wales occupied on the 31st December, 1952—the latest date for which figures are available—was 2,650 and the number of notified cases of tuberculosis on clinic registers was 22,568. The annual death rates from tuberculosis for the three years 1950, 1951 and 1952 were 472, 420 and 308 per million living.

Mr. Morris

Can the right hon. Gentleman say how these figures compare with the figures for England and Scotland? Are there any staffing difficulties? Is the right hon. Gentleman satisfied that enough is being done on the preventive side?

Mr. Macleod

As I am sure the House will agree, the figures are most encouraging. They are continuing to drop and there has been a really spectacular decrease in the last few years, particularly in the last year or two. As to the comparison since 1947, and so far as I have figures, the mortality in Wales has dropped by 55 per cent., which compares with 56 per cent. for England and Wales, so the two are marching almost exactly in step. There are always staffing difficulties. We are doing our best to overcome them, but in spite of them the figures, happily, continue to drop.