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The Charitable Aid Commission sitting at Hokitika is already extending to an interminable length. The witnesses, so far, are chiefiy those connected with the Westland Hospital. The evidence shows bad management all round. It is alleged that the salaries paid are too high, but on this point the evidence is not at all clear ; nor are the allegations as to waste and general improvidence well sustained. The chief feature exhibiting bad management is in the measure provided for the reception of patients and the neglect to obtain payment from those able to pay. The by laws provide for a number of district committees at all the small centres, who are charged with one ■ fourth of the cost (amounting to about 7s fid per week) of all patients coming from their respective districts. The district committees charge their members, in all cases but one, 10s a year, and this sum is frequently collected quarterly. Not only is the sum payable by the committees ridiculously small, but it is not all furnished. For instance, last year they only contributed about an eighth instead of a fourth, many of the committees being always in debit. These 10a ticket-holders look upon themselves as, and in fact are, masters of the situation. If there is anything at all the matter with themselves, their wives, or their children, off they go to the hospital, and the taxpayer has to pay three-fourths of their keep. The by-laws make provision that those patients who are able to do so shall assist in the work required about the hospital, but these country members refuse to do any of such work. One of them, when requested to do something by tho house-steward, expressed the sentiments of his friends by saying “ It’s the likes of us that keeps the likes of you in your billets.” In addition to this great (law in tho management there is another, and probably a stronger one, in the entire neglect of the Trustees to collect sums owing from those patients who arc able to pay, Officials, members of local bodies, and many people in well-to-do circumstances, may be found amongst the list of inmates, yet all the money collected from them last year was about LIOO, a substantial portion of which was contributed by the Benevolent Society, For this neglect the secretary blames the Trustees and the Trustees blame the secretary, but none offer any justification, They seem as much startled by the disclosures as the public are. Of course, it is not possible to say as yet what the result of the Commission will be, but so far the evidence is strongly in favor of the appellant body, tho Westland County Council. ‘Lyttelton Times’s ’ correspondence.

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Bibliographic details

HOSPITAL ADMINISTRATION, Evening Star, Issue 7954, 9 July 1889

Word Count

HOSPITAL ADMINISTRATION Evening Star, Issue 7954, 9 July 1889