An examination of Ireland's advanced mid nineteenth-century health policy, focusing on the Medical Charities Act of 1851 and the Irish Poor Law Commission.Should be read by...every specialist in public administration in Ireland and England during the nineteenth century. ENGLISH HISTORICAL REVIEW
**`Choice' Outstanding Academic Book of 1998**
In mid-nineteenth-century Ireland there existed a system of medical relief for the poor, via a country-wide system of dispensaries, superior to any public health system in England and arguably in Europe. This book examines the dispensary system and Irish health policy and administration in general, focusing upon the Medical Charities Act of 1851, which placed medical relief under the control of the Irish Poor Law Commission. The Commission's origin, motivation and effect (for example on epidemic control, cholera and famine) are analysed in detail, together with the pre-famine medical charities it replaced and the reorganised poor law system, taking the story through to 1872. The argument is set firmly in the context of the pattern of government growth, of British medical politics as a whole, and of British policy in Ireland; it also shows how the Irish experience influenced developing British policies on health provision.
R.D. CASSELL is Professor of History at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.
Royal Historical Society Studies in History New Series
Royal Historical Society
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Should be read by...every specialist in public administration in Ireland and England during the nineteenth century. ENGLISH HISTORICAL REVIEW A very useful survey of medical charities and medical politics in Ireland, and of the debates surrounding public health policy in England. JOURNAL OF ECONOMIC HISTORYFills a significant gap in our knowledge. SOCIAL HISTORY OF MEDICINEAn important revisionary study of English public health reform. ALBION An informative and genuinely scholarly treatment provid(ing) a fascinating insight into the medical politics of a conflict-ridden society and offer(ing) a fresh way in which to view the evolution of the Poor Law. ARCHIVES