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People healthier in past, in less need of hospitals

I recently overheard a heated discussion on the number of people on hospital trolleys awaiting beds. The conversation went like this:

“Did you ever experience anything like that in the past?”

“Certainly not. I will tell you why. People weren’t as informed then on illnesses and few were aware of specialist consultants. Not being as well up in symptoms and remedies as most are now, they self-diagnosed their complaints and treated them accordingly. Every household had their own stock of home-medicines or quack cures. The most popular were boiling milk with honey, butter and pepper; lemon, cod liver oil, castor oil, syrup of figs, boiled nettles, Epsom salts, aspirin, zinc ointment, camphor oil. And, very effective for a heavy flu, simply staying in bed and sweating it out. Lifestyles then were mostly outdoors, very active and much healthier. Food was 100% natural and more wholesome. Pesticides, sprays or artificial manures were frowned-on and animals were rarely injected. All foodstuffs were home-grown or home-produced. Money was very scarce. Doctors were only called in emergencies and hospitals were a last resort.”

This answer is passed on gratis, in the hope that therein may lie a clue to solving Health Minister Leo Varadkar’s greatest headache.

James Gleeson

The Grove




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