n South African Medical Journal - An Uneasy Story. The Nationalising of South African Mission Hospitals 1960 - 1976. A Personal Account, Ronald Ingle : book review




'Every book is, in an intimate sense, a circular letter to the friends of him who writes it.' This is a quote from Robert Louis Stevenson in this book, describing the transfer of 109 mission hospitals to the various governments formed under the national policy of separate development. It is especially the story of the transfer of All Saints Hospital from the Diocese of St John (Anglican) to the Transkei Department of Health, told by an active roleplayer in the process, backed by many letters, documents, minutes, circulars, memoranda and addendums. Interspersed with the wonderful photographs of Pauline, Dr Ingle's colleague and wife, the book creates a sense of what it was like to work at All Saints, build relationships with the staff and communities being served, and then to work through major organisational change with friends, colleagues, church committees and state representatives. This thoughtful documentary intends to inform especially young doctors who battle in the same hospitals today and hear: 'The government just took over the mission hospitals - and look what's happened!' Its history provides insight into the uncertainty of, and responses to, those changing times.


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