Written Answers. - Incidents of Tuberculosis.

Trevor Sargent

Question:

100 Mr. Sargent asked the Minister for Health whether he intends to lay before the Houses of the Oireachtas the internal report on the incidence of tuberculosis which was produced recently within his Department. [8790/96]

Trevor Sargent

Question:

101 Mr. Sargent asked the Minister for Health if new reporting arrangements are now in place regarding tuberculosis as a notifiable disease between the health boards and his Department. [8791/96]

Trevor Sargent

Question:

102 Mr. Sargent asked the Minister for Health his views on the concerns expressed recently by the World Health Organisation in relation to the increase in the incidence of tuberculosis; whether this experience is reflected in the figures from Ireland; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [8792/96]

Trevor Sargent

Question:

103 Mr. Sargent asked the Minister for Health whether he can reassure those persons diagnosed with tuberculosis and their families that all possible steps are being taken to monitor the incidence of tuberculosis at health board level and at Departmental level. [8793/96]

, Limerick East): I propose to take Questions Nos. 100, 101, 102, and 103 together. I assume the Deputy is referring to the report of the Working Party on Tuberculosis. I am pleased to state that arrangements are currently being made for the printing and publication of the report. The report will then be circulated to the health boards with advice on the implementation of its recommendations.

The concerns expressed recently by the WHO relate to the global situation which is not reflected in the figures relating to Ireland. The incidence of tuberculosis in Ireland has declined from 230 cases/100,000 population in 1952 to 15 cases/100,000 population in 1994. Likewise there has been a marked reduction in deaths from tuberculosis from 266/100,000 population in 1901 to 1.4/100,000 in 1994.

The report of the working party recommends best practice on the collection of statistical data, surveillance, screening, prevention, detection and treatment of the disease and will form the basis for the control of tuberculosis for the coming years. The implementation of the reports recommendations will help to ensure accurate information, improved compliance with treatment, minimise missed opportunities for prevention and detection and ultimately reduce the incidence of tuberculosis to the lowest possible level.

Tuberculosis is a notifiable disease under the Infectious Diseases Regulations, 1981 and health boards are required to furnish returns of cases to the Department. Health boards are also statutorily responsible for its diagnosis, treatment and prevention.