Doctor Attacks Medical
MELBOURNE, Monday.-Like |
more than 90 per cent, of the medical profession, he was op- posed to nationalisation of hos
pitals and medical services, Dr. Herbert H. Schlink, president since 1933 of the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, Sydney, said to- night. Dr. Schlink is visiting
Nationalisation of medical services, he said, could not be a success because medical treatment was such a personal thing. Nationalisation would put the medical profession on shift work; but a doctor could not just go off at the end of an eight-hour period on duty and leave a patient for the next doc-
A doctor had to follow his case through, and a medical man must be like the fire brigade, on call at any
TREATMENT OF POOR
Poor people in Australia were already getting, in medical treatment, the finest deal of any country in the world. Their treatment was of the same class and order as the rich. The same drugs, whether penicillin. a sulpha drug, or any other, were pi es- cribed. Doctors had always given free treatment to the poor, and they always would. Incidentally, medical fees in Australia for those who were charged fees, were very moderate, com- pared with those In other countiies.
Instead of nationalisation of hos- pitals the Federal Government should provide hospitals with funds for capi- tal expenditure, or make grants in their aid, because one generation should not be called on to meet the whole cost of hospital buildings which would benefit several generations. Construction and equipment of a high standard could thus be provided. Maintenance should be a function of the State Government, plus payments by patients, according to means, and the voluntary contributions of bene- volently disposed citizens. Capital cost and maintenance were two separate matters, but most people were con- fused about the difference.
"One of the best self-help activities ever introduced into a troubled world." was Dr. Schlink's description of the Metropolitan Hospitals Con- tribution Fund of N.S.W. Launched in 1932, when it had an income of £31,757, the Metropolitan Hospitals Contribution Fund had an income of £440.000 for the year ended June 30.
A similar scheme in the country had an income of more than £330,000. By payment of sixpence a week a man obtained hospital insurance for him- self, wife, and family, sufficient to cover all public ward charges.
Contribution of 1 / a week entitled the member and wife and family to admittance to an intermediate ward.
Dr. Schlink said a contributory plan to meet medical fees was likely in New South Wales. It would oper- ate alongside the hospital fund.
As soon as the man-power position permitted the Royal Prince Alfred was going ahead with its national
medical centre for treatment of dis- eases and education of the young doctor. This scheme, which aimed at adding 2,000 beds to the Royal Pilnce Alfred's present total of 1,430. would cost £ 1 million.
The board of the hospital proposed
to finance this by an amortised loan for 50 years at a low rate of interest. The building of a similar medical centre in Melbourne should be pro- ceeded with simultaneously with the Sydney project. These two cities produced 90 per cent, of the doctors of Australia.