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The monthly meeting of the Ashburton Hospital and Charitable Aid Board was held yesterday. The members present were: Messrs C. Reid (chairman). J. Cairas, T. Doherty, Hueo Friedlander, W. Robinson, H. J. Harrison, and W. J. Dickie, M.P,

Tlie treasurer, reported a credit balance of £3565 7s 7d. Tbe receipts since last meeting aggregated £341 4s 7d, and included: Land agents' fees £9, donation Ashburton Racing Club £6, Borough Council £68 10s, Hampstead Town Board £21 15s, Treasury subsidies £218 0s Id. sundries £1 Is, patients' fees £16 18s 6d. CHAIRMAN'S REPORT.

The chairman's monthly report was as follows:—" After two or three,-, months of comparative freedom from scarlet fever this disease has again made its appearance, chiefly in--the outdistrict. In all, seven cases came under notice, some of whom were removed 1o the hospital fever wards for isolation. On] v one case was reported within the Borough. At present the indications are that this disease may become rather prevalent, and for that reason it is necessary that the new fever wards should be completed as soon as possible. With, this end in view I have communicated with the architects, and asked them to see that the work is not further delayed. In addition to the disease above noted, there were also reported two cases of influenza, one of bloodpoisoning, and two tubercular cases. With a ,view to a possible return of influenza. I have had a short advertisement inserted in the. " Guardian " advising residents of the district to use precautions to guard against infection, and the Public Health Department has issued circulars to all local authorities requesting them to have a general clean-up of rubbish, etc., in their respective districts. The steriliser having got damaged, it has been found necessary to send it to Christchurch. It will probably require a new casting. Several minor repairs have been effected during the month. The supply of fuel at the i hospital is at present satisfactory., there i being a fair amount of coke and coal J on hand. I also had firewood cut, and at present there is on hand about 14 cords. Good hard coal is likely to continue in short supply for some time to come, as the supplies of Australian coal are irregular and limited in quantity. Good lignites> are also difficult to procure. As will be seen from the Matron's report, there have been some changes in connection with the domestic staff, and at the Matron's request an pstra probationer nurse has been engaged."— The report was adopted. STAFF REPORTS. The Medical Superintendent reported ! that there were 10 males and 10 females in the hospital in April, and 18 males and eight females were admitted during [the month, while 13 males and nine i females were discharged. There were i In males sind nine females in the histij tutipn on May 1. Eight operations were | performed during the month. —Received. The Matron reported that she hat! received a letter from Dr. L. Ferguson re the Nurses' Memorial Fund, and the staff at the hospital desired, to help in | this matter. There were,.now. seven, re-.'-turned' soldiers as in-patients!, in the hospital, and one discharged man. There were also six cases of scarlet fevor and one of diphtheria in the hospital. The Comforts Committee of the Red Cross had been particularly kind to soldiers in the institution. The nurses were greatly pleased with their rises in salary. Attention should be given to the nurses' bedrooms in the Home, which are cold in winter. Tho remainder of the report dealt with, the domestic arrangements of the hospital. —Permission was given to hold a dance in tlie new fever ward, and also to appoint an extra. probationer, mirso. —Tho matter of heating rooms in the Nurses' Home was held over pending the con- ' sidcration of the doctor's residence. — I The remainder of the report was approved Mr E. N. Johnson, Health Inspector. reported that seven 'cases of scarlet fever were notified during the month, also three tubercular cases, one influI enzn.. one blood-poisoning, and one* ;.^fipticremia, the latter patient- having died. ' The remainder of the report dealt with inspections, etc., carried out during the month. —The report was received. CORRESPONDENCE. • As letter was received from Dr. Ferguson in regard to the Nurses' Memorial Fund, stating that Wellington had raised £3000, Otago £2000, Nelson £300: and Christchurch £800 towards ■=the fund. The capital so far sub- | scribed for ;jthe latter was £5750. It* ;iyas desire^' to obtain annual subscriptions in order to swell the income, so a© to aid nurses who require temporary j assistance. Every hospital in the Dominion should have a box for offerings ■ from erateful patients. • It was aiso suggested that committees should be j set up in the smaller towns in order to secure widespread support.—The chair- ■ man said the board should support the { obiect, and, if possible, arrange for a special "Hospital Saturday."—Mr Friedlander agreed with the chairman, and said the "Hospital Saturday" should be made an annual affair. —It was decided to inaugurate the "Hospital Day," and tho chairman, Messrs F. W. Watt. H. Frie'dlander, and J. Cairns were appointed a committee to make the necessary arrangements. Dr. Lvon wrote stating that he did not consider the " block system " workable in Ashburton and district- ii? tbe event of a fresh outbreak of'infjxienza. He pointed out that the conditions were absolutely different from what they were in larger towns like Auckland and Wellington, where nine-tenths of the people did not personally know, their doctor and were satisfied. as long as a. doctor visited them. Here the personal element would enter too much into practice to make the "block svsteni" a success. The local doctors would do all they could to see that the district was properly looked after medically in the event of an outbreak.

Dr. Mullin wrote stating that the working of the town and district in blocks would ~be difficult, and the country impossible. He suggested that if the board wished to put a block system scheme before the local doctors, information might,. be obtained from . some municipality which had tried tho system. - - . ' ■

Dr. Petty wrote . stating that the "block .system" was objectionable, because patients preferred to be attended by a doctor of their choice, and doctors preferred to attend to their .own patients.

: Dr. Hunter wrote stating that he would like to have full details of the board's scheme before makina; any criticisms or objections. Any interference with the freedom of patients or doctors was in itself objectionable, and unless

necessary for the general good h© was opposed to it.

Dr. Russell Rendle wrote asking for further particulars regarding the "Block system" before expressing an opinion. Tlie letters were referred to a special committee to report. Messrs England Bros., architects, wrote explaining that the delay in the completion of the new fever ward was due to the difficulty in obtaining plasterers.—lt was decided to instruct the architect not to give any certificate to the contractor until the penalty for delay had been settled by the Board. A circular letter was received from Dr. Valintine, Chief Health Officer, in regard to suitable masks in the event of a recrudescence of the influenza epidemic. The masks submitted by the Melbourne authorities consist of a fourfold piece of butter muslin, 17in by sin, drawn into a width of 1-Jin at either end and tied by tapes attached to the upper end round the head. The other consists of wire.made into the shape of an ordinary anaesthetic mask covered with four thicknesses of butter muslin, which covers nose and mouth and is also tied by tapes round the head. The doctor hoped at an early date to forward a sample mask, which } being made of pliable • wire, has the advantage of being more easily adjusted to fit over the nose and throat, preventing any leakage of air.—Received. GENERAL. j ; . At a previous meeting of the board a,i circulater. letter was received from the i ;■ Minister of Public Health, in regard to 1 : setting up a Social Welfare Committee for each hospital district and that [three members should be .outsiders to ■act in conjunction with members of tho I Board. A special committee was set up ito consider the proposal and recommended that the following reply be sent to the Government:—

"This Board fully recognises its responsibility to the ratepayers, and the members of the board therefore are prepared to and willing to do everything in their power to help to keep down the cost of administration in all 'Public Departments. For this reason the board readily responds to the Public Health Department's circular above referred to, by agreeing to take over the additional) relief work in connection with those who have suffered through the influ'tenza epidemic. The board, however, is opposed to the creation of a separate committee of seven members of ■ which' three should be outsiders. The reasons for this are, that, while on the one hand, the committee could only make recommendations to the board administering the aid, the latter have the I final say. On the other hand/ if the. I recommendations of a bare majority of the said committee were turned down by 'the board,' it would create a Very linpleansant stlxte of affairs and may lead to strife amongst some of the members of the committee and the board as a whole. Further, the delicate and important work of such a committee could be carried out with the careful assistance of the board's officers, and this' 1 again would place the latter in the unenviable position of having to serve—; so to say—two masters. This would undoubtedly be' detrimental to the proper discipline of the board's staff. ; The board, therefore, hopes that the. Government will place in the hands of the Hospital and Charitable. Aid Boards the matter of extending relief to those who have suffered through the epidemic." The board decided to visit the hospital in connection with the. laying-Qut of the grounds in the vicinity of the 'fever ward. ' Accounts amounting to £397 13s 6d were passed for payment.

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Bibliographic details

HOSPITAL BOARD., Ashburton Guardian, Volume XXXIX, Issue 9608, 13 May 1919

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HOSPITAL BOARD. Ashburton Guardian, Volume XXXIX, Issue 9608, 13 May 1919

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