HOSPITALS AND CH ARITABLE AID.
The Bi&introdwea^byslhe Government dealing with the 3 administration °* Hospitals and GnaritaDle Aid, entirely supersedes all previous legislation on the subject, and if not satisfactory in all particulars,- ia jet, on the whole, in the direction of improvement. Its salient features, arer that ohrbnic^destitution m in fatujte ,to|beraeilt vtith by^e $tate,< and esses of'^accident; sloknesS, and casual destitution by the local authorities. Those unfortunates who come within the first named olass, that is to say, in the words of the Bill, "Those adult persons, of either sex, who are not Buffering from; contagions disease, but who are either drunkards or idlers or tramps, who, or whose families; ire '4 burden, or are likely to become a burden! on the local , charities tor an indefinite time," are to be provided for in 4 State refuge. The Government is tp'establish, from time to time, in various parts of the colony such refuges to Which persons coming within the before Mentioned category may be committed by a Resident Magistrate, upon the complaint of the Clerk of the local governing body, for terms ranging from twelve to eighteen months, the period of detention,being renewable if occasion require. At these refuges the inmates are to be eet to such work as is within- their oapaoity, and the cost of their maintenance can be recovered from relatives able to defray the same. As regards the sick and casual poor, the management of Hospitals and Benevolent Homes, and the administration of Charitable Aid generally, is vested in either a Borough, City, or County Council as the caße may be, the various districts being set out and the respec tive controlling Councils named in the schedules to the Bill, all the powers of the presently existing Hospital and Charitable Aid Board b being transferred to suoh controlling Councils. On turning to the schedule residents of this county will see with satisfaction that the controlling power in respect to the management of the Aeh barton Hospital and of the Old Men's Home and the administration of Charitable Aid in the county which will become a separate Hospital and Charitable Aid district, will be vested in the Aflhburton County Council, and as Wai mate county will also secure the like autonomy, it will be seen that the efforts of the local members in this direction in previous sessions have not been fruitless. Provision is made whereby the controlling Council is enabled under certain conditions to transfer the management of Hospitals and Benevolent Institutions, tp trustees elected by the subscribers, and all existing endowments set apart for particular institutions are preserved and continued. The most important change made by tho Bill, next after that as to the controlling and managing authority, iB that with reference to the mode in which the grant in aid given to tho localities out of the general Exchequer is to be honceforth regulated. The proposal in this direction is that as regards Hospitals that contribution is to bo regulated by the total number of , days' treatment of the total number of patients, the rate being two shillings and sixpence per day for eaoh of such days up to three thousand days and two shillings for oach additional day, while as regards persons maintained in local homos tho allowance is to be sixpence per day per inmate for Charitable Aid other thin such as is provided in hospitals or local homes. No subsidy from the State is proposed. How this will woj-k out financially ms regards the HoveraJ, districts, it will bo impoHsiblo to say until a return moved for is produced, but as regards the demand upon tho colonial reyonuo thoro will be little or no difference. Tho Colonial Secretary estimates that it will amount to ;£3J,000 ibr next as against £32,000 for tho past rear. Thia is a matter which .the local )odleH will no doubt at once sot about vorking out tor themselves with a view o advising the mombors for their re ipeotivo districts, bo that caro may bo aken that local burdens are not iniroaßC(J, Always supposing that this ian be secured, then wo again say that ho Bill appears to us to be on the rholo a good Bill and one which it is Iwirable fbouM be piwed i^o Jaw,
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