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"'?/ DUNEDIN, April 3. Before the Influenza Commission,^ evidence was given to-day by Kenneth Cameron, Chief Inspector for the Otago and Southland Health District.. He said---that the. Public; Health Department on the one hand, arid the local authorities on,the other, were prevented through lack -of adequate staff from carrying out any but a comparatively small portion of their public health responsibilities.,. A further handicap was want of a proper 'system resulting in waste time and labour. The Otago Board, had an' inspector for every 45;000'of population): and Southland one for every .32,000., The total cost of infectious diseases had. increased very much of recent years, medical meu being of opinion, that a considerable portion was through the non-enforcing of reasonable precautions, which was due to the lack of stair". There were twenty times as many cases of infectious diseases notified in Otago now compared with sixteen years ago. He cited* instances of disadvantage of divided control, and said it was obvious all ptlblic health matters should be under only one controlling body. The Public Health Department should undertake the whole work- The Department needed \ strengthening on a proper basis. Witnesses before the Commission in the four cities Were emphatic that the inspectors had no power to inspect the; interior of: buildings, but he thought .that view,, incorrect. He found that.} local authorities generally would welcome,*the issue .of general and comprehensive public health regulations. ' Dr. Falconer, medical superintendent Dunedin Hospital, said that the St.i John Ambulance Association, at thel time of the epidemic,! was insufficiently | organised and consisted of independent bodies. They were now endeavouring to get the constitution amended for New Zealand to permit of., combination. He advocated a Board of Health and Hospitals, elected on proportional basis from the local bodies in the health districts. Such boards should consist of five members from local bodies arid two from the Government. He also advocated four district medical officers appointed by the Government, for such districts in a supervisory capacity. He thought the epidemic New Zealand had before the Niagara arrived was an imported type, and woulcl have become virulent in time, fcut;might have been accelerated by the Niagara. Mr Knight, Chairman of the Hospital Board, said that there was practically treble control at present. His opinion was that as far as . public health was concerned the control should be in the hands of the, Public Health Department. This concluded the Dunedm sitting, and the Commission will return to Chvistchurch to-morrow.

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Bibliographic details

INFLUENZA INQUIRY, Ashburton Guardian, Volume XXXIX, Issue 9576, 3 April 1919

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INFLUENZA INQUIRY Ashburton Guardian, Volume XXXIX, Issue 9576, 3 April 1919