HC Deb 27 January 1998 vol 305 c129
1. Mr. Dalyell

Pursuant to the letter from the Minister for Public Health (POH/3/5437/23) of 14 December 1997 on drug—resistant tuberculosis, what response Her Majesty's Government have had to its recommendation that while all patients should be closely supervised throughout their treatment, fully directly observed therapy is essential for those who are, or are suspected to be, poorly compliant with treatment, and for those with drug—resistant disease. [23413]

The Minister for Public Health (Ms Tessa Jowell)

The Government have consulted widely on the best means to ensure effective treatment for people suffering from TB and particularly for vulnerable groups suffering from multiple drug-resistant TB. Both the interdepartmental working group on TB and the British Thoracic Society support the view adopted by the Government that directly observed therapy should be provided early in cases of patients suffering from drug-resistant TB where the patient is, for whatever reason, poorly compliant with treatment.

Mr. Dalyell

Why are we not supporting universal directly observed therapy for TB?

Ms Jowell

Ultimately, the judgment on whether therapy for people suffering from drug-resistant TB is provided is for the clinician. Clinicians decide whether treatment should be provided in this way.

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