Excerpt from The Modern Hospital: A Monthly Journal; Volumes I and II, September to December, 1913, And, January to June, 1914
To a very great extent, then, the activity of these institutions was limited to those who were direct charges of the public, either through the municipalities, or churches, or social organiza tions, and those who could not obtain proper care in their homes. The idea that the hospital is one of the necessary elements without which it is im possible to give to the patients the best possible care they can receive when they are seriously ill had not yet developed. It was only toward the end of the last century that this hospital idea came to be accepted as a fact. In many of the older cities of this country it has not quite been accepted as yet, and many of those who could well afford to have the best are still willing to go through sickness under quite unfavorable circum stances, with rather indifferent care, at their homes because they do not as yet appreciate the importance of this hospital movement. This is true especially at the present time in connection with one specialty which is more perfectly suited for hospital care than any other. I refer to the specialty of obstetrics. There can be no doubt that, from the standpoint of the mother and the child, as well as the other members of the family, it would be immeasurably better if all children were born in well-equipped and perfectly organ ized hospitals. In fact, the wife of the poorest workingman and her child receive better care in a good hospital than it is possible to give to the wealthiest mother in the finest mansion, unless the latter be equipped with a hospital department, such as has been repeatedly suggested by those especially interested in hospital construction. If this country should at some time produce an obstetrician with real powers of organization, such as we have seen especially in surgeons dur ing the past quarter of a century, we may look forward to a greater revolution in this depart ment than we have observed in the past years in surgical concentration and efficiency in hospitals.
In order to make the growth of the hospital movement apparent, it may be interesting to show the statistics of hospitals in the state of Illinois at the present time in comparison to those of forty years ago. It is proper to state that even at that time this state was relatively well supplied with hospitals. An analysis of the statistics of all the hospitals in the country at the present time would be too tedious and would not increase the clearness of the illustration. The state of Illinois contained in 1873, 16 hospitals, with beds. Of these beds, were employed in the care of insane patients, were in municipal hospitals.
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