HC Deb 13 February 1967 vol 741 cc79-80
33. Dame Joan Vickers

asked the Minister of Health if he will make a statement concerning the progress made in the screening of women for cervical cancer.

Mr. K. Robinson

The figures for June, 1966, showed that tests were then being carried out at a rate of nearly 1¼ million a year. Figures for December, 1966, will be available shortly.

Dame Joan Vickers

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that we are grateful for the progress which has been made? Will he pay a tribute to the voluntary organisations which have done so much? What percentage of women in the United Kingdom over the age of 30 are able to have this service?

Mr. Robinson

I hope that the hon. Lady will put that Question down, when I will give an accurate Answer. In the Plymouth clinical area very good progress has been made within the last four months. On 31st January tests were being performed at a rate of nearly 700 a month, and the service is now keeping pace with the demand.

Mr. Christopher Price

Is my right hon. Friend aware that in the Birmingham area the figures came out as almost the worst in the whole country? What steps is the Minister taking to put the problem right in these selected areas which still manage to screen only a small proportion of the women?

Mr. Robinson

I would rather await the figures for December, 1966, and then decide whether any special measures are needed in particular areas.