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Tuesday, 12 June 1928

Sir NEVILLE HOWSE - On the 7th

June, 1928, the honorable member for Herbert (Dr. Nott) asked the Minister for Health the following questions: -

1.   Whether it is a fact that there has been no reduction in the infantile death-rate in Australia so far as the first month of infant life is concerned?

2.   Whether it is a fact that the death-rate in the first month of infantile life is due in the most part to the same preventible causes that are operating during the later term of pregnancy, which same causes contribute to the very large percentage of still-births?

3.   Whether it is not fair to assume that at least 3,000 of the large number of annual still-births could be saved as viable infants, had the principles of anti-natal treatment been fully applied to expectant mothers?

4.   Whether he will make every effort to induce uniform legislation throughout the Commonwealth in regard to the compulsory registration of all still-births? 1 am now in a position to furnish the following answers: -

1.   There has been no significant reduction within recent years.

2.   It is a fact that the death-rate in question is due to such causes, but the extent to which suchcauses are preventible is a question still largely undetermined.

3.   It may be assumed that a considerable u umber of infant lives might be saved, but it is difficult to give an exact numerical estimate.

4.   The combined conference of the Commonwealth and State Statisticians with the Federal Health Council held in March last confirmed in the strongest terms the desirability of such uniform legislation, and every effort will be made to secure its adoption.

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