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The Health Centre for Children, 1948-1951 : a review of the development and current programme at the Vancouver General Hospital Richards, Sonia Patricia

Abstract

This study reviews the growth and development of the Health Centre for Children, Vancouver General Hospital, which has offered, for the past four years, a diagnostic and treatment service to children in low-income families. The aim of the project is to determine to what extent the need in the community for a service of this kind is being met. The main research methods used to obtain the necessary information have been interviews and studies of medical and social case records. The medical structure is described in detail with suggestions for improvement of service in this area. The role which the social worker fulfills is outlined, and is compared with the role which the social worker would ideally assume in a setting of this type. Suggestions for improvement of service are made in this area also. Particular emphasis is placed upon the need for treatment of the "whole" individual, a factor which, because of concentration upon expansion of medical services, appears to have received too little attention in the Health Centre. Although there is still room for improvement in the programme, there is reason to believe that the need in the community for a service of this kind is being met to a great extent. The main indication of this is the comparatively large number of people who use the Health Centre facilities. This is particularly evident when attendances for the four-year period are compared with the numbers who used the only public medical services formerly available. Since the Health Centre will be moving into new and more spacious quarters in the course of the next few months and since, at this time, many major and minor changes will be instituted, this study is considered an interim one. It would be valuable to have a further study completed after four or five years of continued operation.

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