Michael Whitfield Covers History of Dispensary System

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Author announces release of new book, ‘The Dispensaries’

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In “The Dispensaries: Healthcare for the Poor Before the NHS” (published by AuthorHouse UK), author Michael Whitfield gives an overview of the creation of dispensaries and the reason they disappeared in 1948. The dispensary system, ““where subscribers created free clinics for the sick poor and local doctors provided care gratuitously,” was supported by the Majority Report of the Royal Commission on the Poor Law in 1909, but rejected on questionable grounds by the Minority Report upon which the welfare state has been based in the United Kingdom.

“This book concentrates on the dispensaries in Bristol, but also examines dispensaries in other parts of the United Kingdom and abroad,” Whitfield explains. “I believe that we can all learn much from this health-care system and the way it evolved from a free service to one that sometimes used a primitive insurance system.”

Whitfield believes the book will appeal to doctors, as well as the general public who may be unfamiliar with the free health service that existed in centuries past.

An excerpt from “The Dispensaries”:
Two hundred years ago, Bristol, like most large cities, was an unhealthy place. There were two hospitals, the Infirmary and St Peter’s, and about two hundred doctors. Most Bristol citizens tried to have nothing to do with either hospital care or the doctors, for hospitals had little to offer in the way of a cure, and doctors’ remedies often made things worse. Life expectancy was short; few reached forty years of age, and the infant mortality rate was high. Most of the population died of infectious diseases like smallpox, typhoid, and cholera, as well as respiratory diseases such as tuberculosis and pneumonia, and many women died giving birth.

“The Dispensaries”
By Michael Whitfield
Hardcover | 6 x 9 in | 270 pages | ISBN 9781504997157
Softcover | 6 x 9 in | 270 pages | ISBN 9781504997164
E-Book | 270 pages | ISBN 9781504997171
Available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble

About the Author
Michael Whitfield is a retired Bristol general practitioner who was a senior lecturer in general practice in the University of Bristol and has been writing about the history of medicine over the last 10 years. His recent publications have included “The Victorian Doctors of Victoria Square” (2011) and a “Short History of Academic General Practice in the UK Medical Schools 1948–2000” (with John Howie, 2011).

AuthorHouse, an Author Solutions, Inc. self-publishing imprint, is a leading provider of book publishing, marketing, and bookselling services for authors around the globe and offers the industry’s only suite of Hollywood book-to-film services. Committed to providing the highest level of customer service, AuthorHouse assigns each author personal publishing and marketing consultants who provide guidance throughout the process. Headquartered in Bloomington, Indiana, AuthorHouse celebrated 15 years of service to authors in Sept. 2011.For more information or to publish a book visit authorhouse.com or call 0800 1974150. For the latest, follow @AuthorHouseUK on Twitter.

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