Last Resort: Hospital Care in Canada
By the early 20th century, Canadian hospitals were firmly established and providing better care. Clinical medicine had made immense strides, physicians were more competent and medical technology was opening new therapeutic avenues.
Medical bacteriology significantly improved diagnoses and the prevention of infectious diseases. It also facilitated the introduction of major abdominal and chest surgery. Some surgeons were so eagerly enthusiastic that they took to performing preventive appendectomies. Over-medicalization was already on the horizon.
Specialized care required the hiring of better-trained nursing staff. The establishment of numerous hospital-based nursing schools met these needs in large part.
The demand for care often outstripped the available resources, and some hospitals were forced to turn patients away for lack of beds. Outpatient clinics were overrun as well. But despite the problems, modern hospitals were a source of pride for their administrators. They had become the core vehicle in the delivery of medical care.
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