HC Deb 24 June 1954 vol 529 cc52-3W
65. Mr. Callaghan

asked the Minister of Health if he is aware of the concern felt in South Wales about the number of tuberculosis patients awaiting hospital treatment; and what steps he is taking to reduce the number.

Mr. Iain Macleod

Yes. Every effort is being made to increase the number of hospital beds available for these patients and to recruit additional nursing staff. Facilities for thoracic surgery are being improved and two new surgical units are being established at Chepstow and Newport.

71. Mr. G. Roberts

asked the Minister of Health if he will give the reasons why the number of primary notifications of tuberculosis in Wales was much higher in 1953, proportionately to the population, than in England; and whether he will indicate the steps he is taking to improve the position.

72. Mr. C. Hughes

asked the Minister of Health why the number of persons on clinic registers awaiting admission to sanatoria in Wales is higher than the average for the country as a whole; and what steps he is taking to improve the position.

Mr. Iain Macleod

There certainly tends to be a higher rate of notification in Wales than in England. I am not aware of any single specific reason to account for this—although it partly accounts for the numbers awaiting admission. In 1953, the number examined by mass radiography increased by 36,000 over 1952, and is about ¼ million yearly.

I am constantly watching the position. Beds are already more, pro rata, than in England, and everything possible is being done to recruit more staff. Two new thoracic units are already being set up for surgical cases.