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Critically Examine Government Attempts to Deal with the Problems of health in Inter-War Britain

Critically Examine Government Attempts to Deal with the Problems of health in Inter-War Britain


For Britain the period between 1918 and 1939 was a period of crisis that affected every aspect of national life: economic, social and political, affecting international aspects. Depression and unemployment in the early 30's, followed by the rise of Hitler and the cruel shadow of Fascism and Nazism in Europe, with the threat of another war, it was a sort of desolate landscape that was also reflected in the works poets and novelists of the time. Britain between the wars is notorious for economic depression, unemployment, slums and regional poverty; and yet statistics show reductions in death rates including for infant mortality, a decline in deaths from once formidable killer diseases, improvements in physique, and increases in life expectancy (Weindling, 2005, 283). The record was itself a matter of heated contemporary controversy, with national data being criticised for obscuring regional and class differences. These were vigorously contested matters since competing explanations were asserted for both improvements and their limitations, some stressing environmental factors (especially housing conditions) and other standards of nutrition, while the role of social services - their advance or their limitations - also became an issue. Analysis of interwar material demonstrates how politicised were - and are - debates on public health (Webster, 2000, 115).

Health had been a big problem for the people of Britain during the interwar.Although interwar period was worst for health of Britain people, to over come this issue the government of Britain gave proposals' in 1944 for Britain national service (NHS). The purposes of these proposals were to encourage new attitude towards health. This reform focused on promotion of good health rather than focusing on only ill health. The actions taken by the government was initially focused on health of children and mother politically driven by eugenicist concerns and imperialist epitomised in the panic over the ill health during the war (Webster, 1990, 197). SMS school medical service was set up to provide subsequently and periodic follow up of care. On the other hand infant wale fare clinics were organized and funded by charities and local authorities. Following were the attempts taken by the government to improve ill health in interwar (Duncan, 2006, 15):

Terms for maternity and childbirth care which includes ante-natal clinics and health visiting.

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