Medical School Faculty Members Want Government Medical Aid
Believe Public Treasury Should Be Opened Up to Help Study And Research
Signing their names to nine proposals for more adequate governmental aids to medicine, 27 members of the Medical School Faculty, including Charles S. Burwell, dean of the School, have joined with a committee representing 430 prominent physicians and surgeons in a drive for the supply of better medical aid for the poor and for governmental funds to help support medical study and research.
The proposals, which were released in New York on Sunday, proceed from the principles that 'the health of the people is a direct concern of the government," that a national public health policy for all the population should be formulated, and that the four groups concerned with giving medical care are the federal, state, and local governments, and private organizations.
From these principles the group of doctors urge that the immediate problem of providing adequate medical care for the "medically indigent" should be met by use of public funds, either federal or local, and that public moneys should be made available for medical research to raise the standards of practise in the country.
It is also urged that the government provide even more than it does at present for medical education, and that, in extending the role of government in the medical sphere, existing private institutions be used as much as possible.
Looking To Washington
Looking forward toward the federal government for larger control of public health in the future, the physicians also stress the need for a reorganization of existing federal medical agencies under a single bureau in the governmental heirarchy, and that in planning out future developments in this field the work be put in the hands of experts.
Walter B. Cannon '96, George Higginson Professor of Physiology, in commenting to the CRIMSON on these proposals, emphasized the fact that there are vast numbers of persons in the United States who at the present time do not receive adequate medical care chiefly because they cannot afford it, despite the work now done by private and public institutions. At the same time there are many doctors who have not enough work to make a satisfactory living. If these doctors could be put to work at supplying the existing needs of the "medically indigent" through the use of governmental funds, benefit should result to both parties, and, because of the social consequence of disease, to the population as a whole, it was Dr. Cannon's opinion.
Proposals Not New
Dr. Cannon also pointed out that there was nothing revolutionary in the proposals for governmental aid to medical education and research, since states and cities now operate medical schools and contribute to advance study through hospitals, laboratories, and health services.
Soma Weiss, associate professor of Medicine, and also a member of the group backing the proposals, told the CRIMSON that he regarded them as "an attempt to talk over problems" that face medicine and the public, and it is to be "hoped that some good will come out of" the "principles and proposals." "It is no revolutionary thing," he said.
The full list of professors signing the proposals follows:
Arthur W. Allen, lecturer in Surgery; William Lloyd Aycock, assistant professor of Preventive Medicine and Hygiene; Walter Bauer, associate professor of Medicine; Kenneth D. Blackfan, Thomas Morgan Rotch Professor of Pediatrics; Herrman L. Blumgart '17, associate professor of Medicine; Dean Burwell, research professor of Clinical Medicine; Allen M. Butler, associate in Pedriatrics; Cannon; William B. Castle '17, associate professor of Medicine; Henry A. Christian '03, Hersey Professor of the Theory and Practice of Physic; Stanley Cobb '10, Bullard Professor of Neuropathology; Bronson Crothers '05, assistant professor of Pedriatics; Elliott C. Cutler '09, Moseley Professor of Surgery, James L. Gamble, professor of Pedriatrics; John Homans '99, Clinical Professor of Surgery; Chester S. Keefer, associate professor of Medicine; William G. Lennox, assistant professor of Neurology; Charles C. Lund '16, assistant professor of Surgery; James H. Means '07, Jackson Professor of Clinical Medicine; George R. Minot '08, professor of Medicine and Nobel Laureate in Medicine in 1934; William C. Quinby '98, clinical professor of Genito-Urinary Surgery; Francis M. Rackemann '08, associate in Medicine; George C. Shattuck '01, associate professor of Tropical Medicine; Richard M. Smith, assistant professor of Pedriatrics and Child Hygiene; Harold C. Stuart, assistant professor of Pedriatrics and Child Hygiene; Weiss; and S. Burt Wolbach, Shattuck Professor of Pathological Anatomy