"

PAUCITY OF MEDICAL OFFICERS.'

Emergencies often bring out the trutli. and that there have not

been, for

sometime

That there are

past,

not,

Medical Officers

sufficient to meet the wants of the country, is a fact well known to all concerned. But we have tided over the difficulty,?so far.

Wo have acted upon the Native axiom ; " goozara kur lo." We " done" with one Doctor when two were required?in times

have

of peace; but,

note,

mutterings

of storms have reached

the North and from the South;

quickly are

as

possible, flash the

send

us

from

Medical Officers

as

wires from our warrior chiefs who

about to deal with India's treacherous enemy in the "Black

Mountain

wo

have

no

Doctor and no medicine, urges the

same

unerring messenger from an opposite corner of the empire. It is the sickly season of the year. The autumnal diseases of India spare the sons of iEsculapius 110 less than they do those of Mars. There are but few of the former; and of these dysentery and share. The wires may flash, but echo, in all its mimic liollowness, will bo the answer. Whence this difficulty, we cannot, nor need not, stay to inquire now ; but how is the necessity to be met ? Are there no Medical men

fever claim their annual

in the country,

no

highly-qualified

adventurous spirits, who

October 1,

NATIVE MIDWIFERY.

1868.]

have come out to test the El Dorado fame of

India ?

Or,

are

there not others less able, whose lot has hitherto been unlucky in the

gyrations of fortune's wheel, and who would be content with anything they could get? We believe that there is a fair sprinkling of each of these classes. But, in the first place, the best of those, who are willing to take Government service, are not always free to do so at once : and, in the second, it is not well that the Government of such a vast empire should be dependent upon mere adventurers in her hour of need. The quality of the material cannot always be detected. Who shall guarantee that, promiscuously entertained as such men are, and bound by no covenant, they may not, if they find the place does not suit them, simply abscond, and leave the sick who have been entrusted to their care to a kinder, and it may be a safer, guardian,?the vis medicatrix natures ? It is too much the custom to depend upon such men, too, for the smaller

almost

civil stations; but it is

serious mistake.

a

An instance has

recently been brought to our notice, strongly illustrative of this. During the progress of negotiations between the Medical Department and one of the local Governments, witli reference to the appointment of one of these gentlemen to a civil station,?nay, just as it was finally arranged that he was to go and assume charge, (his services there were urgently required,) the individual in question heard of some other appointment which he preferred, and, without any compunction, threw the Government over, and accepted it. Nor can we

blame him.

We venture to urge two ways of dealing with this perplexing difficulty. After, in the first place, increasing the regular

establishments, (a) Second those Medical Officers who have elected for other than the medical walks of life, and in which they look for prizes; and bring upon the Medical

Establishment, in their place, men who shall perform the professional work which they were originally intended to perform, and who, in the event of the Seconded ever returning to the ranks of the profession, would become supernumeraries, and so remain, until they were absorbed, by vacancies, into the general service. Or, b), let Government enter into a contract with a certain number of well-qualified medical men

in

same

England, and induce them to come as a large number of engineers

terms

to India upon the have

recently

taken

Government service. There is but little doubt that the majority of such, once here, would remain. The pay is good, and the " Uncovenanted Family Pension Fund" offers a reasonable But the

provision for widows and orphans. a

measure

would be to aim

heavy

a

blow

adoption

of such

at the old service.

We incline rather to protect it?" Woodman spare that tree." We would rather add to its growth, and infuse new life into its constitution. It is our only chance of maintaining our

Broughtons, our Hamiltons, Cheverses, and our Fayrers. Christian,

who

comes

our

Sprengers, our Forsyths, our primary object of every

The

India, should bo to benefit those If his sojourn is to be short, to identify himself with the people.

to

amongst whom he is to live. we

can

soon, and can we

We

expect him object would be to strive to with as large a golden shower,

never

His main

wonder.

firmly

be found that

IIis ties

as

he

could.

as

Nor

elsewhere.

that, as, with years of experience, it will local European army must agaiu be maintained,

believe a

are

leave the country

239

preserved on its ancient Doctors, perpetuated from generation to generation, would, in time, lead as effectually to the estrangement of the people from our rule, as men, who have made India the land of their adoption, now do more to establish our popularity than untold battalions of infantry. We strongly incline, then, for this reason, to the first of our two suggestions. But, in the first place, we must increase the strength of the regular establishment. so

must the old medical

foundations.

service be

A nomadic race of

Paucity of Medical Officers.

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