Full text: Iceland 1930

everywhere else. Of hospital charges met by the societies one-fourth 
is refunded by the government up to an amount not exceeding 75 
aurar for each member, 
Sickness insurance in Iceland is voluntary, and each society fixes 
for itself the annual premium payable by its members, which must, 
however, be so large as together with the State grant to be considered 
sufficient by the government to meet the expenses against which the 
members are insured. 
So far only eight sickness benefit societies have been formed (all 
n towns and villages) with a total membership numbering 3700. 
The Head of the Medical Profession, the landlaknir (surgeon-gen- 
eral), has the general care of all matters of public health. 
The country is divided into 48 medical districts with as many go- 
vernment-paid doctors; but there is besides them a number of medi- 
cal practitioners and specialists, especially in Reykjavik. The public 
medical officers, besides practising as ordinary physicians, which is 
their chief occupation, are also required to safeguard general hygiene; 
take steps for the prevention of epidemic diseases; and keep the land- 
leeknir informed concerning the sanitary conditions. In almost every 
parish there is a trained midwife who, as a rule, is also entrusted 
vith the work of vaccination, 
Though the development of hospital service in Iceland has been 
very slow, several districts (and municipalities) have now small gene- 
ral hospitals, partly maintained by the State; but so far a private in- 
stitution in Reykjavik, owned by the Sisters of St. Joseph, has had 
to do duty for a State-owned hospital; this want will, however, soon 
be redressed, for the erection of a public hospital, equipped for gene- 
ral complaints, will be completed this year (1930). 
Of hospitals for special diseases there are the following, all in the 
neighbourhood of Reykjavik: 
A hospital for lepers (60 beds), built in 1898, and donated to Ice- 
‘and by the Danish 1.O.O.F. Leprosy was formerly a very common 
disease in Iceland, and in 1896 there were 236 patients, while at pre- 
sent there are but 30—40; an Asylum for mentally unsound persons, 
a State institution, built in 1907 and greatly extended in 1929 (130 
beds); a sanatorium for tuberculous patients (150 beds), erected by a 
private society in 1910 and taken over by the State in 1916. A law 
of 1921 concerning tuberculosis provides free nursing for tuberculous

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