HC Deb 05 December 1960 vol 631 cc855-6
56. Mr. Dugdale

asked the Minister of Health whether he is satisfied with the present procedure for the diagnosis of pneumoconiosis; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Powell

Yes, Sir. The facilities in the National Health Service for diagnosing pneumoconiosis are adequate and I am advised that the medical procedures are well understood.

Mr. Dugdale

Is the right hon. Gentleman certain that they find all those who have it, and with sufficient speed?

Mr. Powell

I have no reason to doubt that, but if the right hon. Gentleman has any information tending to the contrary effect, I shall be very glad to examine it.

Mr. J. Griffiths

The definition of pneumoconiosis on which present cases are decided was reached a quarter of a century ago, after an investigation by the Medical Research Council. Has not the time now arrived when, in view of our much wider experience, there should be another investigation by the Council?

Mr. Powell

I think that is a question for my right hon. Friend the Minister of Pensions and National Insurance.

Mr. Donnelly

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that I have had a number of cases in my constituency in which patients have been diagnosed as not having pneumoconiosis but who, when they have died, have been shown by autopsy to have been suffering from it? If I send the right hon. Gentleman details, will he look at the problem?

Mr. Powell


Mr. G. Brown

The Minister said only that he thought that this was a matter for his right hon. Friend. Will he at least say that he will discuss the matter with that right hon. Gentleman to see what can be done done about it?

Mr. Powell

I am sure that my right hon. Friend's attention will be drawn to the terms of the right hon. Gentleman's supplementary question.

Mr. Speaker


Dr. Summerskill

Can I add to what my right hon. Friend has said?

Mr. Speaker

I called the next Question before I saw the right hon. Lady was rising.

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