While it is not strictly correct to link the aged with those who are chronically ill in any discussion on the provision of a health service for the community, they may be grouped together because of the fact that special provision has to be made for them. The rising cost of the upkeep of hospital beds is one of the factors which make discussion necessary. At a recent meeting of one of the Branches of the British Medical Association in Australia it was stated...that the cost of upkeep of a bed in the teaching hospital...had risen to £14 14s. a week. This is fantastic,...Quite naturally one asks for how long the cost of hospital treatment is likely to increase and what will happen in the future. To use hospital beds at two guineas a day for persons suffering from chronic illness or for those who are helpless because of senile changes is not common sense. When these people have to be admitted to hospital special institutions are needed for them - what they want is nursing attention rather than any of the elaborate equipment used for diagnosis and treatment in the large teaching hospital. This is well known to all who have anything to do with hospital management; but, like so many other features of the present social order, it needs to be drummed into those not intimately acquainted with hospitals who are in a position to correct anomalies or to create public opinion about them.
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