MEDICAL WORK OF MISSIONS
India . Mission hospitals were pioneers in medical service in India, but the Government has gradually developed what is today a comprehensive and admirable hospital system. Large and efficient government hospitals were established in the great cities, smaller ones in lesser places, dispensaries in out-lying regions; medical schools and colleges were organized. The plan in its entirety contemplates a complete system of hospitals, medical education and public health for British India.
The number of hospital beds per unit of population is less than a sixth of those available in progressive regions of the West, but however great the need may be, the actual demand-- judged by the empty beds in the wards we visited--is apparently being met. A body of well-trained Indian practitioners scattered throughout India is growing up, although practically all are located in the cities and larger towns. Many of the government hospitals are excellently equipped and staffed; their physicians and nurses are giving skillful and sympathetic service. These institutions are hampered, however, by limitations inherent in complex governmental machinery. Continuity of staff is impossible because of frequent shifting and re-assignments; appropriations are subject to political influences; the necessity of maintaining a neutral position among hostile religious groups, and of yielding to the pressure of certain social usages, tend generally to undermine morale. From certain of these difficulties mission hospitals, in the main, are free; caste antagonism, among a non-Christian staff--doctors, nurses, and employees; jealousies due to religious and communal rivalries; family pressure upon hospital officials to work their relatives