HC Deb 07 March 1955 vol 538 cc29-30
39. Mr. Willey

asked the Minister of Health what factors have caused the increase in the number of persons suffering from tuberculosis in the county borough of Sunderland from 839 at 31st December, 1938, to 1,695 at 31st December, 1954.

Miss Hornsby-Smith

Much of this increase is almost certainly due to the better facilities and methods in diagnosis and treatment which enable a higher proportion of cases to be discovered and successfully treated. The number of new cases notified is declining.

Mr. Willey

Recognising the importance of diagnosis, would not the hon. Lady agree that these figures are somewhat disturbing, as there has been no sign of a fall in the number of those suffering from tuberculosis? Will she keep this matter under review, because we are very concerned at the high rate?

Miss Hornsby-Smith

I agree with the hon. Gentleman that certainly in the area in which he is interested the figures have permanently been higher than the average for the country. They are showing a good decline now, but my right hon. Friend is watching the question throughout the country.