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April 16, 1910

The Importance of a Department of Health

Author Affiliations

Davenport, Iowa.

JAMA. 1910;LIV(16):1326. doi:10.1001/jama.1910.02550420050015

To the Editor:  —The present bright outlook for the early establishing of a national Department of Health should awaken the profession to active effort on behalf of Senator Owen's Bill 6049, and for the securing of efficient seconding of the movement in the House. It seems to me there should be no thought or talk of a subordinate bureau, for in no other work of the government is free and untrammeled action so essential.In an article on "Medicine and the State," published in The Journal, Feb. 19, 1898, I urged the vital necessity of a government department, analogous to the National Health Service of Germany, the Directory of Public Hygiene of France, and the Government Health Board of England. The profession has been working for such a department for near a century; had it been established a dozen years ago what incalculable evil would have been averted in the

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