HC Deb 18 February 1914 vol 58 cc931-2

asked whether anything has lately been done by the Government of Jamaica to increase the hospital accommodation in that island, especially in districts remote from existing hospitals; and whether anything has been done to utilise the services of ordinary independent medical practitioners, especially in districts reported upon as containing an extraordinary number of cases of syphilis?


In reply to the first part of my hon. Friend's question, hospital accommodation in Jamaica has been steadily augmented for a number of years past, both by extension of buildings and by provision of additional beds. Comparison of the Blue Book for 1912–13 with that of three years before shows an addition of nearly 250 beds to the provincial hospitals. A new cottage hospital was provided last year at Ulster Spring, a district remote from existing hospitals. During 1911–12 and the ensuing year out-patients' departments have been established at all the hospitals, and in the latter year the number of out-patients attended to in the districts, in addition to those treated at the out-patients' departments of the hospitals, amounted to over 45,000. The medical expenditure since 1907–8 has increased by nearly 90 per cent., and in the current financial year nearly £11,000 has been provided for new works, as against £522 at the beginning of the period. The answer to the last part of the question is in the negative; but special provision has been made to utilise the Government medical service for dealing with disease in such districts.