HC Deb 12 May 1992 vol 207 c487
10. Mr. Brazier

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what proportion of children are now immunised against (a) whooping cough and (b) measles; and what was the proportion in 1978.

Mr. Yeo

By February 1992, 89 per cent. of children aged two had been immunised against whooping cough and 91 per cent. against measles. This is a big improvement since 1978, when only 31 per cent. were immunised against whooping cough and 48 per cent. against measles.

Mr. Brazier

Does my hon. Friend agree that those welcome figures have been caused partly by the new GP contract, which has had a very good effect on the level of immunisation in the past couple of years? As the Minister for Health has just pointed out, we have managed to achieve a year with no deaths from measles. Is not that yet another sign that the new contract is bearing fruit?

Mr. Yeo

My hon. Friend is quite right. The GPs, like everyone else involved in the programme, are owed a great debt of gratitude. The figures show how successful the contract was; they also show how utterly wrong the hon. Member for Livingston (Mr. Cook) was in 1989, when he described the target set for general practices as heroic…far beyond the present figure for most practices".—[Official Report, 25 July 1989; Vol. 157, c. 910.] As usual, the hon. Gentleman underestimated what the national health service can achieve with Conservative policies, under Conservative leadership and with the backing that the present Government give the health service.