(1926) SASKATCHEWAN 'S PUBLIC HEALTH RECORD
With so large a proportion of the people living an outdoor
life upon these prairies, it is perhaps only natural that this is
an extremely healthy country, and Saskatchewan is able to boast
that her death rate, 7.1 per thousand, is the lowest in the world
among all the countries and states publishing vital statistics.
This is no doubt partly due to the healthful occupation of the
great majority of the people, but at the same time much of the
credit must be given to a very aggressive and efficient Department
of Public Health, which has for many years been doing everything
possible to protect the air, water and food supplies of the people.
The public health measures now in force in this province are of
the most advanced and modern character, and have been both
praised and copied by a number of other provinces and states
on this continent.
Among the valuable services performed by this department
is included the supplying to physicians, free of charge, of vaccines
and sera of various kinds. Since this work was begun in
September, 1917, down to the end of December, 1925, the records
show that 365,305,000 units of diphtheria anti-toxin have been
distributed; smallpox vaccine sufficient for 186,017 persons;
typhoid vaccine sufficient for 35,413 persons; since 1923 diphtheria
toxoid enough for 66,528 persons, and later in the summer of
1925 the distribution of scarlet fever anti-toxin was commenced.
All of this was issued free of charge.
The division of Sanitation suggests, initiates and co-ordi-
nates activities which go to make a healthy environment for the
people of the province. The public water supplies, sewerage and
sewage treatment systems are under constant supervision. Already
70 per cent of all milk sold in the cities of Saskatchewan is pasteur-
ized. Officials of the division visit every city, town, village,
hamlet and summer resort at least once a year, and advise on
measures for the improvement of the local water and milk supplies,
conservancy, waste disposal and meat inspection. For this
purpose the province is divided into definite inspectoral districts.
Scores are awarded based on the action taken by the local authori-
ties to protect the health of the community.
The Union Hospitals, of which there are now 15 in operation
in the province, are built and maintained by two or more muni-
cipalities, being intended primarily to treat maternity cases and
SASKATCHEWAN'S PUBLIC HEALTH RECORD-Continued
emergencies, and wherever they have been established they are
providing most successful.
The administration of the Hospitals Act entails seeing to the
carrying out of all regulations governing hospitals, supervising
the buildings, accommodation, management, records of admission
and discharge of patients, and the paying of the per capita grants
which amount to 50 cents per day for each day's stay of every
patient, and in the two tuberculosis sanitaria, to one dollar per
hospital day. In 1905 the six hospitals with their equipment were
valued at $63,084.53; in 1925 the 44 hospitals, not counting the
11 Red Cross Outposts, with their equipment have a valuation
of $4,669,517.56. In 1905, 1,078 patients received 21,369 days'
treatment; in 1925, 37,504 received 609,277 days' treatment.
From a hospital hed capacity of about 75 in 1905 it has been
increased in 1925 to 2,521, or one hospital bed for every 300 of
the population. For the treatment of tuberculosis, 554 beds are
now available in Saskatchewan and $1,467,000 has been spent in
provideing up-to-date sanatoria. In the year 1912 one birth in
every 20 took place in hospitals; in the year 1924, one birth in
every six took place in hospitals.
The work of the division of the laboratory, which is of the
utmost value to physicians in aiding in diagnosis, consists of
bacteriological, serological, pathological and chemical work. The
bacteriological work entails the examination of clinical material of
a varied nature and the making of blood tests and tests for a
number of infectious diseases. Serology has to do with all kinds
of vaccines and sera, many of which are prepared in the laboratory.
The pathological work covers the examination of tumours and
tissues removed from either human beings or animals, and under
the heading of chemistry may be grouped the analyses of food,
milk, water and alcoholic beverages. The laboratories also perform
medico-legal work in connection with criminal cases.
The doctor in charge of the communicable diseases division
collects and compiles all reports of infectious diseases which he
gathers from over 800 medical health officers located in all parts
of the province. If it is thought that all necessary precautions
are not heing taken to prevent a spread of the disease, an official
is at once sent to that particular district in order to furnish what
assistance he can in controlling or arresting the outbreak.
SASKATCHEWAN'S PUBLIC HEALTH RECORD-Continued
As a public health measure considerable attention is given
to child welfare and home nursing work. This includes the holding
by nurses of nursing classes and demonstrations; lectures on care
and feeding of children; the visiting of maternity homes and
hospitals; the holding of town and country pre-school examina-
tion clinics. This work is in charge of the Director who is a
physician. The work of his staff of special nurses, with the
assistance of moving pictures, the preparation of educational
exhibits at the Exhibitions and Fairs, and the issue of a large
quantity of special literature, has been specially appreciated by
all the Women's organizations, who have also helped to make
their work a success.
The Division of Vital Statistics compiles records of births,
marriages, dissolutions of marriages and deaths in the province.
The report of the Registrar-General of Great Britain
published stated that the general death rate of Saskatchewan of
7.1 was the lowest of any portion of the British Empire and the
Dominion Bureau of Statistics stated that this was the lowest of
any country publishing vital statistics. For this result credit
is due to the splendid work done by the medical health officers
in the cities, towns and rural districts, as well as to the assistance
received from the members of the medical profession at large.
This coming of age Souvenir contains an Offical Map
of the Highways System of the Province (prepared by
the Saskatchewan Department of Highways) and some
interesting information about the progress of the
Province since its formation twenty-one years ago.
Issued by the Department of Highways