In the scheme of things,
60 years is not a long time: but it is all too easy to forget how
completely different life was then for ordinary people.
Before World War Two, most working men were members
of the National Health Insurance Scheme. Some women and children
could see a Club Doctor because they paid into a sick
club. A large part of the population the unemployed,
the elderly and most women and children could not afford
to pay doctors fees or for insurance.
In Glasgow, the Corporation (as the City Council
was then called) had set up a district medical service to help the
many people who simply had no access to healthcare. The Corporation
was also responsible for most of the hospitals within the City.
Other hospitals were funded by voluntary subscriptions
the Rottenrow maternity hospital, Yorkhill and the Western,
Victoria and Royal Infirmaries. Voluntary hospitals
like these provided accident and emergency services, undertook the
most complex surgical work and were centres of university teaching
Under the new NHS, the hospitals were nationalised.
Family doctors (GPs) became independent contractors because many
of them objected to becoming employees of the government. Local
authorities remained responsible for health visitors, sanitary inspection
and public health.
some pre-NHS hospital statistics and a medical supplies list!
Return to the 1940 - 1950s
Return to the Timelime