HC Deb 14 July 1992 vol 211 cc965-6
16. Mrs. Gillan

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what progress has been made towards reaching national targets for immunisation against the major childhood diseases.

Mrs. Virginia Bottomley

I am pleased to say that the latest estimates show that we have passed the national immunisation coverage target of 90 per cent., which was set in 1985.

Mrs. Gillan

Does my right hon. Friend agree that the GP contract which the Labour party opposed has been remarkably successful in improving the rate of child immunisation?

Mrs. Bottomley

It has been remarkably successful, and GPs are to be congratulated on 90 per cent. of them reaching targets and 70 per cent. reaching higher targets. This might be the last moment for the hon. Member for Livingston (Mr. Cook) at health questions to say that he was wrong when he said that those targets were too heroic. The GP contract has led to benefits in the services delivered by general practitioners. They have done excellently in immunisation; they have done excellently in cancer screening and that bodes very well indeed for our strategy under "Health of the Nation".