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By Dorothy Porter

This publication examines the social, financial and political problems with public future health provision in ancient point of view. It outlines the advance of public overall healthiness in Britain, Continental Europe and the U.S. from the traditional international via to the trendy nation. It comprises dialogue of: * pestilence, public order and morality in pre-modern occasions* the Enlightenment and its results* centralization in Victorian Britain* localization of overall healthiness care within the usa* inhabitants matters and relatives welfare* the increase of the vintage welfare nation* attitudes in the direction of public future health into the twenty-first century.

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Numerous features of social policy were directed at this aim, such as institutionalizing medical practice through the creation of the College of Physicians in 1518, commissions of enquiry into enclosures and new measures to control vagrancy. Much of this was instigated by Cardinal Wolsey, who also designed the first local plague orders which were issued in London in 1517. The Continental practice was copied of requiring houses infected with plague to be identified by hanging bundles of straw from their windows for forty days and making their inmates carry a white stick when they walked through the streets.

Various political figures, including Henry VIII, wished to increase the social and political sophistication of English society, putting it on a par with the Continental citystates. Numerous features of social policy were directed at this aim, such as institutionalizing medical practice through the creation of the College of Physicians in 1518, commissions of enquiry into enclosures and new measures to control vagrancy. Much of this was instigated by Cardinal Wolsey, who also designed the first local plague orders which were issued in London in 1517.

Pest houses, or lazarettos, were set up throughout western Europe; in France alone there were about 2,000 by the thirteenth century. In the Danish cemetery at Naestved 650 patients were buried between 1250 and 1550. An estimated 19,000 lazarettos existed in Europe as a whole. Lazar houses were built downwind from towns; they usually lodged six to twelve people but could be built for one victim alone. Bishops and abbots endowed leprosaria with income from tithes, rents and tolls, and in some areas, such as northern Italy, lepers were a civic responsibility (Palmer, 1982).

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