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January 28, 1933

A Century of Public Health in Britain, 1832-1929.

JAMA. 1933;100(4):284. doi:10.1001/jama.1933.02740040052039

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The treatment of the subject is primarily historical, with especial emphasis on the legal and administrative aspects. The conception deals with the evolution of public health laws, from the "poor laws" of early English history, and traces their development throughout the century to their present-day applications. Part I treats of the first "Poor laws," dating back to the time of Henry VIII, and their administration or, perhaps, maladministration by Edwin Chadwick. These laws, gradually modified by the influence of devastating epidemics, became the Health Code, which in 1912 blossomed into the National Health Insurance Act under which the state medical system of Great Britain now operates. The chapter contains an interesting description of the medical service of the highlands and islands of Scotland, a complete preventive and curative medical service, under governmental control. The essentials of the plan are as follows: 1. Minimum incomes of medical practitioners are guaranteed and

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