Hygiea Internationalis 2007 6(2): 53–68
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Hana Mášová
Publication title:
Social Hygiene and Social Medicine in Interwar Czechoslovakia with the 13th District of the City of Prague as Its Laboratory
Publication type:
Article no.: 5
doi: 10.3384/hygiea.1403-8668.077153
Abstract: Health services in the newborn Czechoslovak Republic had to cope not only with the consequences of the First World War, but also with the new approaches to health policy. Modern social medicine challenged the conventional model of the so-called “police medicine” – the deep-rooted concept of Public Health in the Middle European countries. The necessity to resolve the contradiction between preventative and curative care led to the conclusion that the form and tasks of health centres, whether run by voluntary bodies or by the state/regional authorities, had to be reconsidered. The ambitious goal was to find new and more effective ways to cooperation between the various subjects of health assistance, consultancy, and – eventually - social aid. As an example of such an institution, providing both curative and preventive/consultant service, can be found in one of the most rapidly developing parts of the city of Prague – the new Czechoslovak capital. The “model district” in Prague XIII should have become the location utilizing the latest methods of social hygiene and healthcare organization, an enterprise of coordinated social work and health service. Only in the first years of its existence did it function in accordance with its aims; especially as a teaching arrangement - a tutorial service of the State Health Institute for the education of medical personnel, especially health and social nursing sisters, – and as a source of statistical research. The work of the voluntary organizations and health officers was successfully coordinated. But plans to reorganise the Health Office of the City of Prague, and to extend the system to other districts, faltered and eventually failed. Nevertheless, the principle was kept in mind by the later health care reformers, and survived.
Keywords: Social medicine, public health work, innovation
Linköping University Electronic Press, Linköpings universitet
Year: 2007
No. of pages:
Pages: 53–68
Journal: Hygiea Internationalis : An Interdisciplinary Journal for the History of Public Health
ISSN (print): 1403-8668
ISSN (online): 1404-4013

Mášová, Hana (2007). Social Hygiene and Social Medicine in Interwar Czechoslovakia with the 13th District of the City of Prague as Its Laboratory in Hygiea Internationalis 6(2): 53–68. http://dx.doi.org/10.3384/hygiea.1403-8668.077153 ( )