Series on Health

Series on Health
September 1972

Out of £868 minion spent on the revenue account of the hospital service in England and Wales in 1970, £242 million, or a little over one quarter, was spent on supplies of goods and equipment. Table 1 shows the breakdown of spending by the nine broad categories which have been used for accounting under the National Health Service. These are the only comprehensive data available at the national level, though they are unable to reflect the diversity of medical and non-medical goods purchased, from boiler fuel to pharmaceuticals and from food to surgical instruments.

Series on Health
April 1972

Arguments in favour of family planning or 'birth control' can be advanced on the basis of one (or both) of two major premises. First, it may be held that overpopulation is the major problem facing the world today. Second, it may be held that family planning is justified primarily in terms of improvement in the quality of life of individuals and families who are able to use modem contraceptive techniques to choose for themselves if and when they want a child. Incidental to this is any saving to public funds that would follow from preventing unwanted births.

Series on Health
October 1971

Ever since the discovery of the circulation of the blood it has been known that blood is forced around the body under pressure from the contractions of the heart. When the pressure in the arteries is consistently higher than normal (usually through increased resistance from the peripheral vessels), hypertension is said to exist, though a precise and satisfactory definition is impossible because the range of 'normal pressure’ can only be arbitrarily defined.

Series on Health
July 1971

As early as 2080 BC reference can be found to epilepsy in the code of Hammurabi, King of Babylon. Special laws affecting the marriage of people with epilepsy and the validity of their testimony at court probably reflected unfounded fears and prejudices that have by no means been dispelled by twentieth century enlightenment.

Series on Health
June 1971

In advanced countries, the majority of medical care is no longer concerned with prevention of death. Better social conditions, modern scientific medicine and in particular immunisation and chemotherapy have removed the commonest causes of premature mortality. The remaining deaths before retirement could often best be prevented by social measures, such as a reduction in smoking or accidents, and in any case they account for only a small, if dramatic, proportion of medical activity.

Series on Health
January 1971

In the first six months of 1970, 5 million working days were lost because of industrial disputes. This has been exceeded in only 2 years since the general strike in 1926. In comparison, over 300 million working days are lost every year through certified sickness absence. On the national level absence attributed to sickness has been seen as one of the factors contributing to the relatively poor performance of Britain's economy in relation to Other industrialised countries.

Series on Health
July 1970

inscription, 'Here lies Salvino Armato, the inventor of spectacles'. The inscription is probably inaccurate since both the Ancient Greeks and the Ancient Chinese were aware of the properties of crude forms of lenses in correcting visual defects. In medieval times, however, spectacles did first come in to use around the beginning of the fourteenth Century, during Armarto's lifetime. With the advent of printing and greater literacy in the population, the demand for spectacles increased.

Series on Health
July 1970

In 1948 the newly created National Health Service inherited a stock of buildings which varied very widely in both quality and quantity from area to area. Hospitals formed the major part of the existing health services' physical capital stock. With some exceptions, such as private nursing homes, these had been in the hands of either local authorities or voluntary bodies with the status of charitable institutions.

Series on Health
July 1969

The cost of dentistry now exceeds £100 million a year. In terms of a single specific illness or disease this figure is second only to the cost of mental illness and is greater than direct National Health Service expenditure on conditions such as pregnancy or the treatment of heart disease, bronchitis or tuberculosis.

Series on Health
July 1969

At the last census in 1966 there were nearly 12 million people aged between 45 and 64 in England and Wales. This age group, which for convenience will be termed 'middle age' throughout this paper, covers the second part of economically active life. It is a time during which, while many careers are still reaching a peak, a decline in physical and mental powers has already begun to set in. As middle age is entered, a new phase of life begins. Patterns of morbidity and mortality rapidly alter as degenerative diseases become increasingly more significant.

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