LOCK HOSPITALS IJST CALCUTTA.
call tlie attention of
readers to tlie
passages in the Municipal Budget, submitted for consideration at tlie meeting of the Justices of the Peace held on 17th instant "
Hospital.?The Government hare intimated that the expenditure of tlie proposed Lock Hospital will amount to about Es. 72,000 per mensem, and has requested that half of this sum shall be provided in the Municipal Budget, in accordance with the resolution passed by the Justices at the quarterly meeting held, on the 15th April last. This estimate is based on a report from tlie Commissioner of Police, mho calculates that the number of common prostitutes in the town of Calcutta is about 6,000, and allowing 10 per cent, as diseased, he proposes that hospital accommodation should LocJc
"As the Justices have
already consented to defray half the hospital, we have provided for the allotment required by Government, subject, of course, to the understanding that, should the expenditure be less than the estimate, tlie Justices will reduce the allotment proportionately." current
expenses of tlie
It would have been well if this matter had been submitted to the Medical Justices in the was
Committee before it
before the Finance Committee.
not been done, we address the following observations for the The necessity for the earnest consideration of the Justices. "
Hospital has arisen out of The Contagious Diseases Act for the prevention of Venereal Diseaseslately passed by the Legislature. Now, the prevention of venereal diseases is intimately connected with the control of prostitution. The control of prostitution is a, police affair, and, for the purpose's of this Act, has for its object, 1st, the compulsory registration of prostitutes; 2nd, the compulsory subjection of prostitutes to periodical medical examinations; and 3rd, the compulsory detention of diseased prostitutes in hospital till they are certified as cured. To carry out this object, it will be necessary to have an office and a police establishment, which will cost Loch
prevention of venereal diseases is object, 1st, the defection
and has for its
titutes; and 2nd,
of disease in prosthe medical treatment of diseased px-osti-
will, of course, be conducted in Hospital. ]STow, assuming that there will be 600 patients in that institution, to see that number, at the rate of
The medical treatment
one per minute, it will take one medical officer no less than ten hours' continuous work. In the meantime, what are the Must they to do to get their food and medicine. poor women should the is over? or Doctor's visit visit Doctor's the ?wait till and the distribution of food and medicine go on together ?
be over by 9 o'clock a.m., or No; the Doctor's visit must great confusion and neglect. It is clear, therefore,
there will be
utterly impossible for one Doctor, however patients in a morning, as usual, highly paid, in this country. On the contrary, if the work is to be proof twelve medical men ; and perly done, it will require a staff the work must be properly done, or the intention of the Act that it will be
to attend 6l0
The detection of venereal diseases in
THE INDIAN MEDICAL GAZETTE.
periodical instrumental examination. That examination, satisfactory and economical, must be conducted in the Lock Hospital itself, and not in the houses of the prostitutes. To examine prostitutes in their own houses, it would be necessitate
sary to send to each house
medical officer with
policemen. Thus much valuable time and material would be comparatively wasted ; and, besides, the cost of it will be very heavy. No respectable medical men will undertake such work ; and if it be expected that Native Doctors will do it, there ore Doctors educated as yet to make instrumental no Native examinations. The result obtained by such agency will hence be quite unsatisfactory. Further, we must think of the moral debasement, bribery and corruption to which such people will be exposed if they are engaged in such a business. No, that will not do; the examination must take place in the Lock Hospital itself. Now, assuming the correctness of the figures given by the Commissioner of Police, if we deduct the 600 patients from the 6,000 prostitutes, there will remain 5,400 to be examined during the week ; for to be able to prevent venereal disease?, we must nip them in the bud, and that cannot be done unless each prostitute is examined at least once a week. In many of the European cities each prostitute is examined twice a week. Now, dividing 5,400 by the six working-days in the week, there r
will be 900 be
certainly in any
in their hours
persons to be examined per diem. enormous
to collect these 900
The whole work could be done in two
twelve medical officers of the
Surgeons subordinate hospital. The advantage
to the of this
would be, that after the examination the prostitutes could communicate with their friends in the hospital without any fur-
On the other
ther trouble. to travel
many of them wTould have
considerable distance to reach the hospital, besides
temporary over-crowding. However, for the public convenience, it would be better to have six Lock Hospitals situated in different quarters of the city, instead of one. This plan would make the hospitals easily accessible, and greatly reduce the over-crowding. The expense would be just the same, as for every hundred patients there must be vauts
certain allowance of coolies and other
infinitely greater, efficiency spirit of emulation would be introduced, which cannot be of great advantage to the public.
The cost would be 12 Medical
Officers, at Rs. 200 each Surgeons, at Es. 100 each...
]2 Sub-Assistant Total
2,400 1,200 3,600 x
Total annual On the other
very great, as no policeman would be required to attend medical visitors to prostitutes' houses. These are the arrangements which strictly belong to the Lock Hospital, a moiety of the expenses of which the Justices have have not
agreed to pay; the Justices to pay any part of the police expenses. The and control of the medical arrangements seem to
lie with the Commissioner of Police 5
utterly incompetent for that duty. The Commisresponsibility of
sioner of Police may have the control and
police arrangements, but the medical arrangements are beyond his'sphere, and should be confided to professional men, according to the usual practice of Government, responsible to the head of the Medical Department. So far for the prevention of venereal diseases among the There is another question civil and military populations. which concerns the comfort and security of the prostitutes
themselves, which measures
foregoing ship and loss
be taken up sooner or later. All the involve a great deal of hard-
that class of females.
their absence from
home will and
result in the loss of
nothing to support discharge from hospital. To guard against these evils, prostitutes in all European towns The best system is are under direct Government inspection. that adopted in Prussia. There all prostitutes are compelled to live in licensed brothels, and the masters of these brothels No solicitations are allowed in are a sort of police agents. their little
themselves with for
time after their
from open windows.
The masters of the
responsible for the order and good hygienic condition of their dwellings, as well as for the proper care, feeding, and security of the prostitutes. The only indication of their houses is a green paint on their doors, and their visitors are obliged to enter and depart without noise or disturbance. When any of the inmates is detained in hospital, the master is responsible to the police for the care of her property, and he is bound to feed her, too, on lier discharge therefrom, till she can earn something for herself. This is a very rational system, and more conducive to public morality and diminution of crime than prudish abstinence brothels
from all interference.
Some such system must be introduced
here before the work is
casts, still they
Prostitutes may be out-
citizens ; and it is
just according to the they receive that they constitute either a dangerous or a peaceable class. Neglected, their homes become dens of iniquity ; properly cared for, they often prove useful members of the community. In the city of Hamburgh they contribute no less a sum than 60,000 dollars annually to the Municipality. In Calcutta there is 110 reason why they should are
not pay the some amount, if not more, towards the Municipal revenue, and that would then amply suffice to meet all the