The precise age of this unit is not known, but it has been in use for civil mass radiography since 1946. 353,500 examinations have been made with it since it was brought into use at Stoke-on-Trent.
Would it not be fair to say that it has done very good service and is rather old? In view of the fact that in this area so many people are at risk from a respiratory disease other than tuberculosis, namely, pneumoconiosis, may we have some assurance that the needs of the area will be carefully considered and a new machine provided as soon as possible?
Most other mass miniature radiography units are well over ten years old. Age need not prejudice efficiency if the tubes and other parts are replaced as necessary, but I will certainly keep the hon. Gentleman's request in mind.
A 100 mm. machine is in use at the Coventry and Warwickshire Hospital, and another is shortly to be delivered for the Birmingham mass radiography centre. It would not be in the public interest to disclose the cost of this apparatus, which is supplied under Government contract, but it is not an important factor in the choice between a 35 mm. and a 100 mm. machine.
Is it not true that the film obtained from a 100 mm. type of machine is in many respects nearly as good as is obtained from a full-sized film used for normal radiography purposes? Is it not also true that such a machine used in an area where miners and pottery workers are at risk owing to pneumoconiosis would he most valuable, and may we have some assurance that the area will be considered for the provision of a machine of this type as soon as possible?
In a recent memorandum to regional hospital hoards the possibilities of the 100 mm. unit for static mass radiography have been mentioned. The wholesale replacement of the 35 mm. units cannot be considered until the results of an experiment now in progress with the 100 mm. units are available, and the 100 mm. machine at the Coventry and Warwickshire Hospital is part of that experiment.