The Evening Star FRIDAY, DECEMBER 4, 1914.
It was confidently believed about three years ago that all the preliminary and protracted trouble over ?e-' tming a fur a secondary hospital, which -was then an iraperaMve need, had been overcome satisfactorily, and that a substantial institution jrould soon he erected on an open place on Pine Hill, and there stand in sunny solidity and. whiteness as effective proof of active even conquering administration against disease. Experts stated at that period that it was absolutely necessary, to relieve congestion at the main Hospital, that a general hospital should' really be a group of separate hospitals arranged as toonry wards or pavilions, each devoted exclusively to the treatment of certain disease or injuries, all in occupation to the beat possible advantage to patient*, and each patient provided with ample room and pleasant, sunny balconies in which to build up his spent strength. And everybody agreed that the authorities were doing mighty well, and were worthy of the practical sympathy of the .public. Well, tilings have not turned out as originally planned—a way things too often go in Duhedin, where, it would seam, adniinieitMtivo antergriflo in the interests of tha
A Secondary Hospital.
community cannot be effected without a great deal of palaver, protest, and (occasionally) expensive errors of judgment. There is one notable exception to tho expensive risk': a church that works silently and makes progress in enterprising activity. Perhaps the Otago Hospital and Charitable Aid Beard are not altogether to be held blameably responsible for the vexatious delay over tho erection of a secondary hospital to receive cases which ■undoubtedly hamper the curative work oi the General Hospital—cases which, in particular instances, should not be in a
general hospital at all. The board arc almost always in a, sort of whirlpool oi expert opinion and advice, which differ like the viett-s and capacities oi rival politicians. It is clear that the board desire to do the right tiling, and appreciate the necessities <d the City as regards a substantial extension of hospital accommodation. They ceitaiuly know jhat the present accommodation for chronic consumptives is uisgracefuily inadequate, and that there ii clamant need of more helpful conditions than they are at present able to provide for convalescents, in tho Benevolent Home and in tho General Hospital. The proposed secondary hospital was to more than' meet these necessitous cases, but adequate provision appears to be as far off as ever. Chronic consumptives are accommodated at tho General Hospital, although it wa, understood that accommodation there for thio unfi.'rtunate class of patient was only to be temporary. Everts consider it unu<:sirabk to have admitted into the ward;, of a general hospital patients in advanced or rapidly Advancing pulmonary phthisis. At the British Hospitals Association's Conference at Oxford last year Sir Thomas. Oliver gave it as his opinion that when such cases were treated i.u a, general hospital the possibilities of infection cannot be ignored.
The Hospital Board have discovered—somewhat tardily, one vrould fancy—that the cito secured at Pine Hill is defective as regards permitting the erection of a hospital in a central position with a northerly aspect. .It is to the credit of the board that they have, the courage to adnut the defect, and to avoid a. greater blunder than the original transaction, uim-h was made defective because of their hesitation in closing a bargain with the owner of adjoining land, which is now the property of a- religious organisation, and will bo utilised tor educational purposes. One consoling feature of the l'ino Hill site business is that no money was paid for the hmd, which was obtained in cxchan"i; tor another area further back. 'lh-o board have now under oiler a promising site at Wakari—-ever 20 acres, with a dwelling which, we are informed, would tervo admirably an a nurses' home. The price is taid to be reasonable, and some iJ5,000 J-J.-6 than the sv.m originally sought by the owner of the property, it it be purchased the board arc conlid'ent that accommodation for a, number of patientcould be provided within three months. The fiuettiou as to the advisability ci purchasing this property has been reforreii to the hon. medical start' of the. Hospital for report. The general opinion is apparently in favor o£ acquiring tho site, but nothing dfiiuite has been done. The residents in the neighborhood of the property oiler keen, opposition to the proposal io establish u secondary hospital in the vicinity 01 v. school and in the centro oi a dairying district, i'rooably the real opposition is based on a belief that a secondary hospital containing a pavilion lor varonic consumptives would depreciate residential property in tha neighborhood, lhe boards answer to that Lj in eliect thai it iii erroneous to anticipate any financial depreciation of bricks and timber, and that there is no danger of infection. This is where the authorities must struggle in a maze of expert opinion. One fact is clear and indisputable-: There is imperative need for a secondary hospital in cr about I)unedin, and it is the duty of the board to try with their best energy to make tip fox an unconscionable diilay. If esperb opinion shows a decisive bahuioo in favor of the site at Wakari the board need not bo abashed at the. local protestation. That would soon paaa, and Wakari remain as an attractive suburb, as it id at present. Beference will be rnad« subsequently to th» administrative aspects of the treatment of tubercular patients. It is about time that the Stato exercised a more direct control of this important branch of hospital administration.
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The Evening Star FRIDAY, DECEMBER 4, 1914., Evening Star, Issue 15667, 4 December 1914