Physicians simply cannot make a living in these sections

Posted by | January 24, 2007

“Physicians simply cannot make a living in these sections because the livelihood of the individual home maker is so meager and the dispersion of population so great and the ability to go from one home to another so runabout and tedious of accomplishment that a livelihood from the practice of medicine here is a physical impossibility.

“Families living on improved roads, of which West Virginia has many of the finest, do not have as a rule such difficultires in regard to inaccessibility. In other sections the inaccesability is one of major importance only in the wintertime. An unfortunate socio-economic status is pretty generally observed.

Doctor Tabor examining Roscoe Loudin. Dailey, West Virginia.
“Just as the unit cost of highway construction in these mountainous sections is excessive, so is the unit cost of providing even minimal health protection and medical services to the people in these sections. To them at the moment, preventive health work is entirely, and essential medical service almost entirely, not available.

“It is easy to visualize the immensity of the maternal welfare problem among these people when one realizes that in five counties in 1932, with a total of approximately 2,500 live births reported, only one half were attended at delivery by a physician.”

George M Lyon
Huntington WV doctor
testimony before Congress in 1933
on behalf of a proposed maternal
welfare amendment to the
Economic Security Act.
http://www.ssa.gov/history/pdf/s35lyon.pdf

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