HC Deb 23 July 1896 vol 43 cc463-5

I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland with reference to the case of a poor woman, the wife of a ploughman, who had been severely bitten by a mad dog near Ballymena, whether he is aware that the Ballymena Board of Guardians, upon application being made on the 7th December last, unanimously decided to send her for treatment to Mr. Patrick M'Govern, of Glangenlin, county Cavan, by whom she was restored to health; that Mr. M'Govern, after having been successful in his treatment., was obliged to sue the, Guardians for payment of his bill; and that the Guardians took defence on the ground of illegality, or otherwise, and with what result; and, whether, considering the much higher per-centage of cures in the cases sent to Mr. M'Govern than in those sent to the Pasteur Institute in Paris, and considering the expense as well as the time and fatigue involved in sending such patients to Paris, he will make inquiry and arrange that the Boards of Guardians may pay Mr. M'Govern his bill when they send patients to him for treatment in such cases?


It is a fact that the Ballymena Guardians decided to send the wife of a labourer, who had been bitten by a dog pronounced to be mad, to Mr. M'Govern for treatment; but they were informed by the Local Government Board that any expenditure so incurred would be liable to disallowance by the auditor; and, subsequently, on application being made for payment of M'Govorn's fee, it was pointed out to the Guardians that as M'Govern's was not a hospital within the meaning of Section 7 of the Act 25 & 26 Vict., cap. 83, the Guardians could not legally expend the rates in this manner, and that the Board had no power to sanction the payment as requested. M'Govern then sued the Guardians for recovery of the fee, but the case was dismissed at Quarter Sessions, on the ground that he was not a medical practitioner, and could not recover fees. The Local Government Board can only recognise as hospitals such institutions as are under the professional control and management of duly qualified medical practitioners, and in which the treatment is openly avowed and subject to proper investigation.

MR. T. M. HEALY (Louth, N.)

Will the right hon. Gentleman inquire whether the remedy of Mr. M'Govern, which is alleged to have been successful on so many occasions, has really the efficacy which is claimed for it?


It would be impossible for me to promise an inquiry into the efficacy of a remedy which is secret.


Will the right hon. Gentleman inquire whether it is the fact that the M'Governs have for centuries cured hydrophobia?