The Rural Hospital, Its Structure and Organization (Also available in French)
by Dr. R. F. Bridgman, Deputy Director of Health of the Department of the Seine, France; Chief Inspector of Health. 162 pp. illustrated. WHO Monograph Series No. 21. Geneva, World Health Organization, 1955. Price $4.00, £ 1, Sw. Fr. 12.00. Distributed by Columbia University Press, 2960 Broadway, New York 27, New York. (Clothbound)
The over-all impression of this book is of a realistic approach to the rather complex problems of developing rural hospitals as part of a total medical-health program. Though much of the author's material is aimed particularly at relatively undeveloped areas, the book should appeal to anyone concerned with the problems and potentialities of rural hospitals and coordinated hospital systems. Rural areas are carefully defined and various types of rural and urban communities contrasted to supplement his briefly worded definition of a rural zone as “any area such that the time of transport to a built-up area of urban character would exceed one half hour, and the life of whose population is essentially linked with the working of the soil.”
In his introduction and throughout the book Bridgman emphasizes the importance not only of economic factors, but also of the psychological, religious and cultural patterns. These play a significant role in all countries, but are often of special importance in under-developed areas.