Health Questions

Posted on June 14th, 2011 in Parliamentary News

Keith Vaz (Leicester, East) (Lab): The Secretary of State will know that 58 per cent. of type 2 diabetes cases come from obesity. He took a diabetes test when he came to Leicester, and the Minister of State, Department of Health, my hon. Friend the Member for Exeter (Mr. Bradshaw), will take one at 3.30 pm today. Does my right hon. Friend agree that one way of dealing with this issue is to have preventive work, not just exercise—on Sunday, he suggested that people should start dancing more—and that people should have these tests so that they can deal with the issue of diabetes and take the necessary medication?

Alan Johnson: I pay tribute to my right hon. Friend for the work that he has done in Leicester. I did indeed have the test at the splendid centre in the middle of Leicester. I was fine, by the way; for the record, I scored five. My right hon. Friend did the work to get that centre built in his constituency and to have a mobile testing centre that goes out to workplaces; indeed, it came down to the House of Commons a few months ago, and it is here today. He is absolutely right to talk about the importance of these tests. As he knows, they are part of a concerted effort, backed by Diabetes UK, to ensure that physical activity, proper diagnosis and early treatment are regarded as essential; they should be of the quality that they are in Leicester everywhere else in the country.