Medical Examination (Mass Miniature Radiography)

Oral Answers to Questions — Military Service – in the House of Commons on 10th September 1942.

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Photo of Sir Francis Fremantle Sir Francis Fremantle , St Albans

asked the Minister of Labour whether he is aware that of 300 consecutive cases of pulmonary tuberculosis admitted to a certain sanatorium from the Services it was considered that 200 could have been detected at the initial medical examination by the adoption by medical boards of mass miniature radiography as a routine procedure; and whether he will now state the position as to the introduction of this method into the practice of medical boards?

Photo of Mr Ernest Bevin Mr Ernest Bevin , Wandsworth Central

I am aware of the analysis referred to. I am, however, informed that perhaps half of those 300 cases were examined by civilian medical boards before the adoption by these boards in November, 1940, of improved methods of detection of pulmonary tuberculosis. As stated in reply to a Question on 30th April, 1942, by the hon. Member for Clay Cross (Mr. Ridley), it is considered impracticable to establish the method of mass miniature radiographical examination at the medical boards throughout the country.

Photo of Sir Francis Fremantle Sir Francis Fremantle , St Albans

Has the alternative method been pursued of having centres for the examination of these people so as to save them harm and also save trouble to the Services and expense to the Exchequer?

Photo of Mr Ernest Bevin Mr Ernest Bevin , Wandsworth Central

In accordance with the Answer which I gave on the date mentioned, I understand my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for War and the other Service Ministers are carrying out the policy then announced.

Photo of Sir Francis Fremantle Sir Francis Fremantle , St Albans

That is to say, the men already in the Services qualify for a great deal of trouble to themselves and the Services afterwards, and cannot we do something to prevent their getting into the Services?

Photo of Mr Ernest Bevin Mr Ernest Bevin , Wandsworth Central

I am sorry, but I cannot introduce this system into every medical board in the country. That is absolutely impracticable. Therefore, the alternative method of detection immediately they have been enlisted has been found to be the most practical way of dealing with the subject.