HC Deb 06 February 1973 vol 850 cc218-9
19. Dr. Stuttaford

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what was the annual death-rate from carcinoma of the cervix in England and Wales for the past five years.

Mr. Alison

The latest available annual death rate for malignant neoplasm of the cervix was 92 per million females in England and Wales in 1971.

I will, with permission, circulate the figures for the earlier years in the OFFICIAL REPORT.

Dr. Stuttaford

Does my hon. Friend agree that to a large extent these are preventable deaths and that more of them would be prevented if the Department paid more attention to medical experts and rather less attention to financial considerations when assessing the time when women should return for further checks?

Mr. Alison

In all these matters we are closely advised by the Committee on Gynaecological Cytology, which is precisely the professional body my hon. Friend wishes to see advising us.

Dr. Miller

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that according to the report for last year of the Medical Officer of Health for Glasgow there was not a single death from cervical cancer in Glasgow? Does he agree that that is a tribute to the services supplied by the city, and will he make such services free and available to all women in the United Kingdom?

Mr. Alison

The figures are noteworthy for Glasgow. There is no evidence to suggest that women are in any sense prevented from coming forward when they have real need to do so.

Dame Joan Vickers

Has there been an increase or a decrease in the number of women using this valuable service over recent years?

Mr. Alison

There is an increase in the number taking advantage of the facilities of the service.

Following are the figures:

Death-rate for malignant neoplasm of the cervix per million females in England and Wales:

1967 99
1968 98
1969 96
1970 93