HC Deb 25 June 1956 vol 555 cc26-7
33 and 34. Dr. Stross

asked the Minister of Health (1) whether he will make a statement on the policy he intends to follow with reference to mass X-ray of the population and, in particular, for middle-aged groups and new entrants to industry;

(2) whether he has noted the value of mass X-ray, not only in the detection of tuberculosis, but in pneumoconiosis among the general population; and whether he will replace the present 30-millimetre type of machine by the more modern 100 millimetre.

Mr. Turton

The number of mass miniature radiography units has increased from 36 in 1948 to 75 at the present time, and the number of examinations, which are on a voluntary basis, has increased threefold. Voluntary surveys will be continued, and persons of middle age and new entrants to industry are being encouraged to use these facilities if they have not recently had a chest X-ray. Six 100-millimetre cameras are being purchased for installing, on an experimental basis, at six hospital out patient departments.

Dr. Stross

I thank the right hon. Gentleman for that reply, but is he aware that in some areas at least the examination of some sections of the population, such as miners, might well be more fruitful and useful if the 100-millimetre camera were used and, in the long run, perhaps more economical? Would he bear that in mind?

Mr. Turton

Certainly, Sir. I am anxious to undertake this experiment of the 100-millimetre camera. Some are already working; in fact nine hospitals are using them, but not on a large-scale basis for this purpose. I hope very much that one of the hospitals chosen for the 100-millimetre camera will be in the Midlands.