Public Health and Poor-Law Medical Services

1899 BMJ (Clinical Research Edition)  
English Local Government Board for I898-99, published recently, contains an immense amount of statistical information. Not the least interesting and important are the sta i6tics relating to pauperism, and it is pleasant to read ttiat there was a decrease amounting to 1.9 per cent. in the total number of paupers relieved on January ist, I899, as compared with January ist, I898. The figures slow that the paaperism ot the country is very unequally distributed among the several divisions. In the
more » ... ivisions. In the South-westi-rn Divisioni the proportion which the paupers bore to the population wis nearly twice as large as that in the North-webtern Division, anl, as might have been expected, there are even greater differences in the counties than in the divisions. The county which contained the largest proportion of paupers to population on January ist, I898, was Dorset, where no less than 4.46 per cent. of the population were in receipt of relief; and Middlesex (with i.6i per cent.) and the W4'est Riding of Yorkshire (with i.8o per cent.) contained the smallest proportion. The nunhers of the insane paupers continue to show the increase which is a notewori hy ihem of many previous reports; and it is a melancholy fact that the increase on January ist, I898, exceeded the figure for the corresponding period of last year by more than 3 per cen,t. POOR RELIEF. The gross cost of the relief of tile poor during the year ending at Lady Day, 1898, was /1o,828,276, which is greater than that recordeI in any previous year; it represented an average charge of 6s. i I41. p -r head on the estimated population, being 241. per head more than in the prteceding year. Comparing the metropolis and the rest of England and Wales, the rate per head, calculated on the estimated population, was 84s. 61. in the metropolis, and 5s. 8'd. in the rest of the country. This result is, to a considerable extent, to be attributed to the faet that in the metropolis the paupers relieved in the workhouses and infirmaries, etc., bear a much larger proportion to the totld number of paupers of all classes relieved than they do in other parts of the country. It is no doubt also partly due to the improved accommodation provided for the p )or in the metropolis, and partly to the contributions to the managers of the Metropolitan Asylums District. INFECTIOUS DISEASK iN LONDON. With reference to infectioas disease, the percentage of admissions to the Metropolitan Asylums Board's Hospitals to the notifications of admissible diseases during the year I898 shows a marked increase on that of the preceding year. The
doi:10.1136/bmj.2.2033.1712 fatcat:qhx45lpb3jb73bmmu4zaql4rdi