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House of Commons Hansard
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30 October 1918
Volume 110

57.

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asked the Prime Minister what steps, if any, the Government have taken to prevent the influenza epidemic spreading; if he is aware that over 100 political prisoners are now suffering from this illness in Belfast Prison; that they have not sufficient hospital accommodation or nurses to cope with the outbreak; that their food is insufficient and of a poor quality, being tea and dry bread; and if he will state what steps the Government propose to take to deal with the matter?

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Dr. MacCormack, the medical member of the Prisons Board specially visited Belfast Prison in reference to the influenza epidemic. He reports that there are now under medical treatment for influenza 111 prisoners committed under the Defence of the Realm Regulations and fourteen officers of the prison. There is no foundation for the allegiation that the food is insufficient or of poor quality, or that the medical or nursing arrangements are unsatisfactory.

Special treatment and diet are afforded to each patient, and the medical officer to the prison has authority to engage additional medical assistance and trained nursing staff, and to order any extra articles of food or medicines that may be deemed necessary. The prison medical officer has already called to his assistance Dr. Tweedie, of Belfast, and Professor McKisack, M.D., as consultant. There is no reason to think that the prisoners are not receiving all proper care and medical treatment.

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Have some of these prisoners been transferred or will any be transferred to hospitals in other institutions where they can be better attended to?