HC Deb 16 February 1959 vol 600 cc19-20
48. Mr. Chetwynd

asked the Minister of Health what progress is being made with the production and distribution of transistor hearing aids in the Newcastle-on-Tyne Regional Board Area.

Mr. R. Thompson

Last summer, hearing aid centres were asked how many transistor hearing aids they would require for all children attending them. About four-fifths of the total required by centres in the Newcastle region have now been distributed, and distribution should be complete within about two months.

Mr. Chetwynd

When is it proposed to extend this service to the general patient as well as to children?

Mr. Thompson

For financial reasons, it will not be possible to replace quickly all valve aids with transistor aids. Valve aids are giving very good service, and when the time comes for issuing transistor aids to adults we shall have to work out a priority basis for their allocation, in the first instance.

Mr. Hastings

Can the Parliamentary Secretary give some estimate of the relative cost of transistor and valve aids, first in production and then in maintenance?

Mr. Thompson

Not without notice; but it is considerable.