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Tubercular Patients (Treatment)

Volume 395: debated on Thursday 2 December 1943

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asked the Minister of Health whether his attention has been drawn to the case of Mr. T. Hannam, of Townsend, Henstridge, Somerset, an ex-Service man who in June, 1943, was certified by his doctor to be suffering from tuberculosis of the throat and who sent him home as the county sanatorium was full; whether he is aware that in August the British Legion informed the Ministry of Health that a bed was available for the patient at the Legion's tuberculosis sanatorium at Preston Hall, Maidstone, and suggested that Hannam should be transferred there at once; that this was not done and that the patient died at his home on 18th October; and what action he proposes to take for this neglect by the officials of the Somerset County Council and to prevent such neglect in the future?

My right hon. Friend is aware of some of the circumstances of the case to which my hon. Friend refers and he is in communication with the Somerset County Council about it. My right hon. Friend will write to my hon. Friend further as soon as possible.

asked the Minister of Health whether he has officially inquired into the details of a case of pulmonary tuberculosis which ended fatally after a radiograph had been taken which was interpreted as normal; and with what result?

I understand that the case to which my hon. Friend refers is that reported in the medical Press on 6th November last. The report is very full and my medical advisers do not feel that inquiry would add materially to the information already available. The conclusion expressed in the report that radiography is not an infallible criterion of the presence of tuberculosis is already the accepted view, well illustrated by this case. It will be noted from the report that the patient, in spite of the absence of radiographic evidence, was on clinical grounds treated for tuberculosis.