I regret that the information is not available. From December, 1964, to June, 1965, the number of tests per month rose from 39,000 to nearly 51,000, an annual rate of over 600,000. The returns for December, 1965, are not yet complete.
I thank my right hon. Friend for that reply, but does not he realise that there is strong feeling in the country, especially among women, that during the past 14 years not enough has been done by Governments in diagnosing cervical cancer? Does not my right hon. Friend also realise that unless more is done on this issue there will be great feeling against this Government, even though my right hon. Friend has done better than previous Governments did? Will my right hon. Friend make certain that he is judged by deeds and not by words?
We may have been slow in starting this, but I think that progress during the last couple of years has been very considerable. In that part of my hon. Friend's constituency which is covered by the Doncaster Hospital Management Committee, a full service is already available, and in that part covered by Rotherham and Mexborough a full service will be available at the end of this year, so my hon. Friend is perhaps rather fortunately situated.
I am always encouraging regional boards to speed up this provision. I am told that by the end of this year routine services should be readily available for well over half the population at risk.
As the main difficulty is the continuing shortage of technicians, may I ask whether the right hon. Gentleman's attention has been drawn to the remarkable Brighton cancer project where somewhat unconventional methods of recruiting the necessary bodies have been highly successful and have had the full support of the local medical profession and the hospital services? Will the Minister look into that and see whether that idea can be adopted elsewhere?
I am aware of it, and I shall see whether it is possible to extend it, but we feel that cytology ought to be practised by those who are doing pathology in the ordinary way rather than that people should do nothing but cytology all the time.