Royal Commission on Labour in India: Report(1929)||
In some provinces a great advance has been achieved during recent years in the organisation of their Public Health Departments, but Madras Presidency is the only province which so far includes a woman Assistant Director in its Public Health Department. We recommend that, particularly in the more industrialised provinces of Bengal and Bombay, such appointments should be made. The organisation, co-ordination and supervision of all forms of welfare work among women and children require expert control, and we feel that this can only be obtained if the initiative in these directions is definitely taken by local Governments. In addition, every provincial Public Health Department should be strengthened by the appointment of a trained statistical officer to take charge of all statistical records and to carry out special investigations in regard to the incidence of sickness and disease in special areas and for special groups of the population. For some years past health propaganda work has been developed in most provinces with success. There can be no question as to the necessity for greater extension of that form of education both by Government and local authorities. Every municipal area, also, should have its own Medical Officer of Health and an adequate sanitary staff. Under the existing Local Self-Government Acts municipal councils have been given almost complete responsibility for public health, but in many of the areas visited by us we were unfavourably impressed with the standard of health administration and with the manner in which these duties have been performed. Health Officers are to be found in most of the larger municipalities, but their work is too often ineffective, because they have incomplete control of the health organisations or because their recommendations fail to receive active consideration from their councils. It is important that security of tenure for these officers should be ensured and, to obtain this, we recommend that they should belong to a Government cadre, although their salaries and allowances should be a charge on municipal funds. In all extra-municipal areas where industry is being developed, a similar health staff should be at work, as it is particularly in such areas that strict supervision should be maintained from the start. Greater pressure could be exerted on local boards and municipalities by local Governments, if the practice in force in Great Britain were adopted of giving percentage grants towards expenditure on health measures.