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Dewar Commission & Report

Dewar Commission & Report

The Dewar Commission of 1912 was an investigation into the state of healthcare provision in the north of Scotland. Evidence was taken from doctors, ministers, schoolteachers, townspeople and crofters all around the Highlands and Islands, beginning on 15 August 1912, and presented to the Houses of Parliament, along with a report: the Highlands and Islands Medical Service Committee (1912) Report to the Lords Commissioners of His Majesty's Treasury.

The commission was chaired by Sir John A Dewar, Bart (1856-1929), MP for Inverness-shire and chairman of the famous distillers, John Dewar and Sons.

Amongst the issues examined were diet, infectious diseases, children's health, living conditions, doctors' conditions and salaries, nurses, midwifery, availability of telephones, transport difficulties and in particular the possibility of establishing subscription schemes or clubs whereby all families, other than the destitute, would regularly contribute a small sum to be assured of free care if and when it was needed.

The commission's report led to the establishment of the Highlands and Islands Medical Scheme, a forerunner of the National Health Service.

A digitised copy of the report can be found on the website of the Scottish Rural Medicine Collaborative.


Title: Dewar Commission & Report
Record Type: All Records
Type: Commission
Date: 1912
Record Maintained By: HC
Subject Id: 61879