Occupational Health Care

Oral Answers to Questions — Wales – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 29th February 1988.

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Photo of Mr Win Griffiths Mr Win Griffiths , Bridgend 12:00 am, 29th February 1988

To ask the Secretary of State for Wales if he is planning any initiatives in the field of occupational health care.

Photo of Mr Ian Grist Mr Ian Grist , Cardiff Central

Initiatives in work place health care are undertaken on my right hon. Friend's behalf by the Welsh Health Promotion Authority.

Photo of Mr Win Griffiths Mr Win Griffiths , Bridgend

No doubt the Minister will be aware of the trade-union inspired scheme of heart health screening undertaken at RAF St. Athan, in the constituency of the hon. Member for the Vale of Glamorgan (Sir R. Gower). Several of my constituents were involved in that scheme. At £17 the screening is far cheaper than at a BUPA hospital, where it costs £100. Will the Minister consider supporting and extending such schemes across Wales, given that every year five out of every thousand employees die of a heart attack and 6,000 working days are lost at a cost of £200,000?

Photo of Mr Ian Grist Mr Ian Grist , Cardiff Central

The hon. Gentleman is absolutely right to raise this extremely serious matter. We welcome any such initiatives, and I am glad to say that many employers take advantage of these Welsh heart programme schemes for the benefit of their working people. They include major companies such as Parke Davies, Texaco, British Airways, BICC Power Cables, British Gas (Wales) and the Polytechnic of Wales, and we should like involvement to be much more widespread.

Photo of Mr Keith Raffan Mr Keith Raffan , Delyn

Is my hon. Friend aware that many hon. Members share the concern of the Welsh Health Promotion Authority about the proposed minor role of health education in the national curriculum? Surely my hon. Friend must agree that health education in schools is a wise investment and that prevention is preferable to and more cost effective than cure.

Photo of Mr Ian Grist Mr Ian Grist , Cardiff Central

Certainly, but that should be a part of the curriculum of life, which I hope all decent schools would teach.

Photo of Mr Ted Rowlands Mr Ted Rowlands , Merthyr Tydfil and Rhymney

Is the Minister aware of the important high technology wound dressings made in my constituency? Will he assure the House that lack of resources will not prevent these dressings from being made available on prescription and thus ameliorating the condition of a large number of people in my constituency and in Britain as a whole?

Photo of Mr Ian Grist Mr Ian Grist , Cardiff Central

I think the hon. Gentleman knows that the dressing to which he referred is currently being tested.