HC Deb 18 July 1923 vol 166 cc2330-2W

asked the Minister of Health the number of small-pox commissioners appointed at present in the country and the districts in which they are operating; and what are their duties and the degree of co-ordination they observe with respect to the medical advisers of local authorities?


There appears to be some misapprehension as to the nature of the arrangements to which the hon. Member refers. These arrangements have been made solely with a view to securing promptly an accurate diagnosis in suspected cases of small-pox. In ordinary circumstances, if the doctor in attendance upon a patient and the local medical officer of health are doubtful whether the case is one of small-pox, arrangements are made if possible for one of the medical officers of my Department who have special experience in the diagnosis of that disease, to see the patient in consultation with the practitioner and the medical officer of health. The recent outbreaks of small-pox have rendered it necessary that some further assistance should be available for the diagnosis of doubtful cases, and I have secured the services of 12 medical men residing in different parts of the country, each of whom has special knowledge and experience of small-pox, to visit suspected cases when assistance is sought from my Department and the services of medical officers of the Ministry are not immediately available. The sole object of these visits is to assist in diagnosis and the medical men who have been appointed endeavour in each case to arrange to see the patient in consultation with the medical attendant and the local medical officer of health.


asked the Minister of Health will he state for each year from 1871 to 1922 for England and Wales the number of deaths from small-pox, the death rate from small-pox per 100,000 living, and the percentage of vaccinations to registered births?


The particulars asked for by the hon. Member are contained in the answer given on the 16th instant to the hon. Member for South Poplar (Mr. March), with the exception of the year 1871. In that year there were 23,062 deaths from small-pox, and the death-rate from small-pox per 100,000 population was 101.2. The percentage of vaccinations to births in 1871 is not available.

Brigadier-General COLVIN

asked the Minister of Health whether he will allow photographs of patients suffering from small-pox to be exhibited in order that the public shall become acquainted with this disease and the facilities for avoiding it?


I am not aware that any permission on my part is required for the exhibition of such photographs.