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J. D. C. International Medical Conference Opens in Paris

An international health conference for doctors working in the Joint Distribution Committee’s medical welfare and health programs throughout the world opened here today to review medical progress and sanitation and health activities in the countries in which the JDC operates.

Moses W. Beckelman, European director of the JDC, welcomed the medical men and noted that the JDC had inaugurated these medical conferences in 1947, even before, Israel was established as a state and began to have its present health problems. He revealed that the JDC spent $10,960, 000 in Israel last year, the equivalent of half its total .budget. He stressed the JDC’s policy of having local communities assist themselves and said that this policy was bringing results in North Africa at “a gratifying rate. “

Dr. Alexander Gonik, director of the JDC Health Department, outlined for the conference the two major aims of the meeting. These, he said, are the “normal” aim of all medical conferences–the exchange of new methods and new thinking in the field of health based on the experience of the JDC staff and others in the field; and, the “more direct” JDC aim–the improvement of health and sanitary services in the countries in which the JDC’s clients live.

Dr. Shimon Btesh, director of the Israel Health Ministry, addressing the conference, outlined the manifold health problems in Israel resulting from the mass immigration. He paid the highest tribute to the JDC for its high standards of health work in Israel and in its health preparation of prospective immigrants to Israel.

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