Eight Central Stations Serve Population of 45,267
The medical system which the Agro-Joint has instituted for the Jewish colonists in the Crimea is detailed in a report from Dr. Joseph A. Rosen to David A. Brown, made public at United Jewish Campaign Headquarters in New York. The Agro-Joint has taken into account the new environment and climate, and the different conditions facing these former traders, especially in the beginning of their efforts at farming, and provides for this by adequate medical attention.
Medical centers were established at the beginning of the colonization work. In order to facilitate the work, the Agro-Joint divided the colonization area into eight divisions, each division having a central medical institution. The medical department of the Agro-Joint employs ten physicians, thirteen assistants, and other helpers. They serve 255 settlements with a population of 45,267 persons, each settlement being not much over twelve miles from the center.
The Agro-Joint not only supports its own medical institutions in the colonies, but also helps two medical centers of the People’s Commisariat in Crimea. Last year it spent the sum of 45,747 roubles. Six dental clinics were organized in the Agro-Joint regions. Two of them are in the Crimea, three in the Cherson region, and one in Krivoi-Rog.
In addition to giving medical aid, these medical centers give out general information on hygiene. During the last year, 192 lectures were given on hygiene, epidemics, and contagious diseases. Inspection is also made of the homes of the colonists, and the school houses, to insure proper sanitation and 3,700 inoculations were made against small pox.
The variety and type of the diseases treated in the medical centers is of especial interest because they reflect the general health conditions of the colonists. The largest number of patients are between the ages of 21 to 50, indicating the general health of the children in the colonies. The figures show that the workers who carry the heaviest burden of the colonization work in the new colonies, are those who most often need the health centers. Most of the diseases are internal, yet there are many cases requiring surgical attention. These are not frequently of a serious character, being the result of accidents which occur to the colonists in their new work.
A study of the cases treated by the medical centers, shows 1,964 are confinement cases, 1,635 are cases of disease of the eyes; 1,291 patients were treated for nervous ailments; and 6,593 other cases. Of these latter, only 221 are cases of venereal disease. During the past year, the medical institutions of the Agro-Joint had 80,992 visits, of which number 9,614 were visits the physicians made to the homes. The hospitals received 1,036 patients, each one using the hospital bed on an average of six days.
The Agro-Joint plans to open a medical center in the Yevpotorie region in the near future. From now on, these centers will be built in proportion to the expected natural growth of the colonies, and in those cases where the new colonists have not their own medical institutions, they will be able to make use of the hispitals in the older colonies.
These centers built by the Agro-Joint are not the only medical institutions of the colonists. In serious cases, people go to the towns where they receive medical attention from hospitals and clinics of Jewish medical societies which were organized and are supported by the Agro-Joint. Such societies, under the name of “Yemso” are to be found in the larger cities. The colonists of Crimea usually go to Simferopol for medical attention. Others go to Cherson, Krivoi-Rog, and Ekaterinoslav, the last having a large medical institution which is visited not only by the nearbly townspeople but also by the colonists living at a distance.