Ireland

1913 BMJ (Clinical Research Edition)  
A VERY unfortunate condition of affairs has arisen at the Royal National Hospital-for Consumption for Irelanld, wlhich was-established near Newcastle, c. Wicklow, in 1896, for tlle treatment-of poor patients sufferinig froim pulnmonary consumptioh in its incipient or early stage. Thle nulmber of beds has been gradually increased from 24 to over 100. The lnumber of patients treated in 1911 was over 400. The honorary medical staff conisists of seven consuilting physicians representing the
more » ... senting the clinical lhospitals in Duiblin and two visiting plhysicians who are also physicians to Dublin clinical hospitals; tllere are in addition two resident medical officers. In April, 1911, the two visiting physicianls were aslked to attend a meeting of thle board to express their opinion on a proposal to invite an outside miiedical man to try a special treatmnent of tuberculosis at the hospital and to place two wards at hiis disposal for this purpose. The two visiting physicians andl one of the consulting plhysicians, the only medical miiemnber of the board present, expressed disapproval of the project, and it was dropped.-Six wecks later the board invited the consulting and visiting staff anid the resident medical staff to consider whetlher it w7as desirable to adopt any special treatment at the lhospital, including that referred to at the previous meeting. The wlhole staff expressed the unanimouis opinion that medical treatment was a matter solely for the medical staff, and that in any case it was undesirable, in the interests of tlhe liospital, that methods unproved by scientific research should be adopted. No furtlher action was taken by the board at the timiie, but last December the visiting physicians received a letter informing them that the medical man above referred to had been appointed as an additional physician. The visiting physicians brought the letter before a meeting of the tlonorary fnedical staff, and the consLulting and visiting staff tlhereupon addressed a letter to tlhl board recapittulating the above facts and resianing their position on tlle staff. They felt that a sliglht had been put upon them by the appointment of tlIe additional visiting ph1ySician withlout consultation witlh tlle medical staff, and considered that the action of the board made it plain that it was resolved, wlhenever it pleased, to dictate the melical treatment in the lhospital. The staff consented, for tlle sake of the hospital, to withlhold their resignlations till the board lhad had a fuirther opportunity of discussing the matter, and oni the invitation of the board a friendly conference was lheld between four miiembers of the board and four members of the medical staff. As a result, it appeared to be the uinaiiinious opinion that the differences between the board and the staff could(, anid slhould, be removed on tlle folloWing conditionis: (a) A return to thle statts quio ante December, 1912; (b) that the nmedical staff should for tlle fttuLre be represented on the hoard by at least two memibers to be hliosen anniually by tlle staff. It was also suiggested by thle representatives of the board at the conference that in thle event of the board asseniting to these conditions the medical staff would be prepared to accept tllc mnedical inan whvlo lhad beeni appointed al additional visitiIIg physician as patlhologist to tlle hospital. The meedical staff suibsequently wrote to the board approving the conlitions (a) and .(b), and acceptinig the suggestion witlh regard to the change in tlhe natrtue of tlle appointment of thje ad(litional physician. On FebrLuary 21st, lowever, the miiedical staff received a letter inforlmiing tllem that tlle board would not retreat fromii the positioni it lhad taken up in its letter of December, 1912, andl that it wotuld not carry oiut the concditions wlhiclh lhad seemed to have the approval of tlle confereiice. Accorndingly the whlole lhonorary medical staff have finally resignled their connexioin with1 the hospital. The f0ollowing arc the ianames of the lhonorary m--edical staff:
doi:10.1136/bmj.1.2723.524 fatcat:nwglnxudjnburibyal3j2soihq