Punch,  56 (1869), 124.

Poverty and Physic





Medical Practitioners, Politics, Utilitarianism, Commerce, Periodicals

    Discusses a petition presented by William T M Torrens on behalf of over a hundred poor-law doctors, who sought assistance in redressing 'certain grievances imposed on them by certain Boards of Poor-Law Guardians, who may not impossibly be viewed as part of the Collective Folly of the country'. Explains that their grievances include 'over-work and underpay', while an extract from the petition published in the Examiner insists that a medical practitioner cannot satisfactorily deal with the sick poor while there are 'paramount claims of his own household'. Considers the Examiner to be 'a journal known for its good sound common sense', a quality that it cannot attribute to poor-law guardians, whose 'penny wisdom' has led to 'pound foolishness' and more sickness among the poor. Notes that the Examiner suggests raising the number and salary of poor-law medical officers, but expects that this plan, which would enable doctors to be freed from private practice, will be poorly received in 'certain board-rooms'.

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