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Coronary Heart Disease

Volume 640: debated on Monday 15 May 1961

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asked the Minister of Health if he will give information about the tests with cod liver oil being officially made for the relief of coronary heart disease.

Why not? Is the Minister aware that cod liver oil is our richest indigenous source of unsaturated oils, that it is a valuable by-product of the British fishing industry, and that the American Heart Council has stated quite categorically that it is effective in this type of disease? In the circumstances, should not tests be undertaken?

It is not for me or for my Department to indicate what medical investigations should take place.

Is not the Minister making a quite unreliable statement? Is it not his duty to see to it that the best provision is made to deal with various diseases? Why on earth does he not take note of the very many indications given that tests of this kind should be undertaken at once?

It is my responsibility to secure that there is provision for whatever treatment the medical profession thinks right and wise, but it is not my responsibility to indicate the most promising lines of medical research.

Is there not a gap in medical provision in this country if there is no central body which can be authorised and instructed to investigate certain lines of treatment and recommend them to the medical profession?

"Authorised" and "instructed" are two different things. As to "authorised", the answer is "Yes". As to "instructed" by a member of the Government, the answer is "No".

On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. In view of the wholly unsatisfactory reply which the Minister has given, I beg to give notice that I shall raise the matter on the Adjournment at the earliest opportunity.