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Information on the village of Newstead in Scotland.
There was no National Health Service in those days. Doctors were paid by their patients for their services and most families joined an Insurance Society and paid into it weekly, or at intervals, to save against illness, also the rates and rent bills.
A dentist came to Melrose once a week and held a surgery in a local Hotel. An extraction cost 2/6d (12 ½ p). I don't know if it was supposed to be painless, but I do know that any extractions I had never were.
A Deaconess who lived with her housekeeper in a red roofed house in the village, called "The Cottage" was, I believe, engaged by the Presbytery to attend to the health and spiritual welfare of the community.
The Fever Hospital at that time always seemed to have a large number of patients, especially in the summer months. It had wards for diphtheria and scarlet fever. Diphtheria was a disease of the throat; it was a dreaded disease and often proved fatal.
The ambulance provided by the Health Authorities was a grim-looking affair. It had solid tyres and its outward appearance looked somewhat similar to the vehicles now used to transport horses from one point to another. A small window about one foot square was fixed near the upper part of the body of the vehicle, which must have provided light, as it was too high up to look out of.
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