Maternal and Infant Mortality.

Oral Answers to Questions — Public Health. – in the House of Commons on 11th July 1935.

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Photo of Mr William Pearson Mr William Pearson , Jarrow

32.

asked the Minister of Health whether he has considered the annual report of the medical officer of health for Hebburn-on-Tyne, in which it is stated that the infant mortality rate has risen from 86 per 1,000 live births last year to 108 this year, and that for every 116 babies born last year a mother died, the average being almost double that for the whole country; and, in view of the seriousness of the problem, will he hold an inquiry into the reasons for this high rate of maternal and infantile mortality?

Photo of Sir Kingsley Wood Sir Kingsley Wood , Woolwich West

I have received this report and have arranged for one of the medical officers of the Department to visit the district and inquire into the relevant circumstances.

Photo of Captain John Dickie Captain John Dickie , Consett

Does not my right hon. Friend realise that this is another indication of the deplorable state of things in these special areas? When does he expect some action to be taken?

Photo of Sir Kingsley Wood Sir Kingsley Wood , Woolwich West

I do not think my hon. Friend heard my reply, in which I said that I had already arranged to send a medical officer to that district. It should be remembered that the district in question is only a small one and that the number of deaths was only four.

Photo of Mr Jack Lawson Mr Jack Lawson , Chester-le-Street

Does not the right hon. Gentleman see that this is merely a symptom of a deep-seated disorder in these areas?

Photo of Sir Kingsley Wood Sir Kingsley Wood , Woolwich West

That is a matter for consideration.

Photo of Mr William Pearson Mr William Pearson , Jarrow

Is my right hon. Friend aware that all this has happened in the last year?