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Health progress 1947-1953
Department of Health (DoH)
The enactment of the Health Act, 1953, affords a convenient opportunity to review the substantial and at times even spectacular progress which has been made in the sphere of public health since the establishment in January, 1947, of a separate Department of Health. The foundations of the progress may be said to have been laid by the passing by the Oireachtas of a series of important enactments. Taken chronologically-- The first was the Public Assistance Act, 1939, which co-ordinated and put on a proper basis the services given to the poor, including the sick poor; Second-the County Management Act, 1940, with the Local Government Acts, 1941 and 1946, placed the executive and administrative machinery of local government on a sound and workmanlike basis; Third--the Mental Treatment Act, 1945, co-ordinated and modernised the legal code under which mental treatment was afforded; Fourth-the Tuberculosis (Establishment of Sanatoria) Act, 1945, gave power direct to the Minister for Health to build regional sanatoria to deal with the compelling tuberculosis problem; Fifth-the Ministers and Secretaries (Amendment) Act, 1946. Up to 1946 ministerial health functions were vested in the Minister for Local Government and Public Health. It was becoming evident, however, that the task of maintaining and improving the nation's health services was large enough and important enough to warrant the setting up of a separate Department of State charged with the undivided responsibility for administering those services under a Minister for Health. In January, 1947, accordingly, .the Government established the Department of Health under the powers conferred by this Act; Sixth- Health Act, 1947, vastly extended the Minister's powers to enable improved and extended health services to be provided, and consolidated and amended a mass of earlier legislation. This Act introduced some very important advances in the fight against ill-health. It paved the way, for example, for a new approach in the attack on tuberculosis and other infectious diseases by offering free diagnosis and treatment and generous cash allowances to sufferers. It set up a code designed to secure cleanliness in the handling and sale of food and the fixing of proper nutritional standards for food; 3 Seventh-the Health Services (Financial Provisions) Act, 1947, guaranteed State grants up to so% towards the expenditure of local authorities on health services; AND NOW-1!he Health Act, 1953, which extends further the services provided under the Health Act, 1947, and makes available a wide range of free services for a large section of the farming and middle classes. A summary of the main provisions of this Act is given later in this review.
Publication Date:
Type: Report
Peer-Reviewed: Unknown
Language(s): English
Institution: Lenus
Publisher(s): Department of Health (DoH)
First Indexed: 2014-04-02 06:19:06 Last Updated: 2017-04-26 07:51:25