15. Dr. Hill
asked the Minister of Health how many local health authorities are in possession of adequate supplies of B.C.G.; and whether he is satisfied that this method or prevention is being made available on an adequate scale and as rapidly as the paramount necessity of preventing tuberculosis demands.
§ Mr. Bevan
One hundred and sixteen out of 145 authorities in England and Wales have so far had arrangements approved for B.C.G. vaccination at the discretion of chest physicians. They receive the vaccine as they need it, since it cannot be stored. As to the second part of the Question, I would refer the hon. Member to the reply I gave to the hon. Member for Wokingham (Mr. Remnant) on 15th June.
§ Sir Herbert Williams
Can the rest of us be told what B.C.G. is? Is it anything to do with O.E.E.C., or anything like that?
16. Dr. Hill
asked the Minister of Health whether he will instruct regional hospital boards to arrange for the home treatment of tuberculosis patients, for whom there are no sanatorium beds vacant, by making available to them in their homes the services of chest specialists, portable X-ray facilities and any other facilities necessary for adequate and continuous treatment.
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that only in relatively few areas are the resources of tuberculosis services made available in the homes, and will 613 he, bearing in mind that tuberculosis is five times as common among contacts as among the population, do his utmost to relieve what is an urgent national situation, not only for the sufferers from tuberculosis, but for their families as contacts?
§ Mr. Bevan
Yes, Sir, I am very well aware of what the hon. Member has stated. Of course, it must always be borne in mind in this very grave matter that the efforts that the service is able to make, result in a fall in the rates of mortality from tuberculosis. The hon. Member will find in the next few weeks that instructions will be issued dealing with those points.
§ Mr. Drayson
Will the right hon. Gentleman remember that one of the greatest contributions he can make solving this problem is to get on with the provision of houses?