HC Deb 20 March 1967 vol 743 c1049
32. Mr. Scott

asked the Minister of Health why it has been decided that pregnancy tests shall in future be available without restriction under the National Health Service.

Mr. K. Robinson

Until recently tests were carried out under the National Health Service in three special centres only, using a time-consuming biological method. As reliable and quicker immunological tests are now available, it has become possible for hospital laboratories generally to provide this service, at the request of a general practitioner.

Mr. Scott

Has it not always been possible for these tests to be carried out where there have been good clinics? Does not this decision mean that there will be a great increase in the demand for tests with no clinical justification at all?

Mr. Robinson

No. It has always been possible, but pathological laboratories in the Health Service are hard pressed. The new method makes it very much easier to do this work and does not consume so much of the technician's time. We think that the pathological service generally is perfectly well able to take this additional load.

Dr. David Kerr

Would my right hon. Friend inquire of hon. Members opposite why they are so anxious to give doctors unutterable freedom in prescribing drugs but are trying to restrict their opportunities in making pathological investigations?

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