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Volume 932: debated on Wednesday 18 May 1977

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asked the Secretary of State for Social Services how many men and women are currently on the waiting list for a National Health Service sterilisation in each region in England.

Information about waiting lists is collected by specialty and not by diagnosis, and waiting lists for sterilisation are not, therefore, available.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if his Department has any evidence that women are treated differently from men with regard to National Health Service sterilisations.

There are necessarily significant differences. The medical indications vary, and the facilities required for the respective operative procedures differ. However, I have seen no evidence to suggest that there is any difference in principle in the way in which persons presenting for sterilisation are received and counselled. If my hon. Friend is concerned about a particular instance I shall be pleased to look into it.