Health care services in Smyrna during the period 1675−1922

The aim of the present study was to investigate rare documentation about the health care services (hospital) during the period 1675–1922 in Smyrna. The health care system in Smyrna was unique for the western world during that period. It was based on the Christian ideal of charity and the Hippocratic thoughts. Those ideas had a stronger influence in Smyrna than in the rest of the Ottoman Empire. The social offer was not limited only to donations and to voluntary work in the hospital, but it extended to various ways of community contribution, which were judged necessary, for the confrontation of human misery. The people’s solidarity was so strong that foreign observers referred to the people’s work­solidarity with a lot of admiration. The present article has an introduction with a short historical examination of the system of health care in the Ottoman Empire and the reasons that European countries were prompted to establish and finance their hospitals in Smyrna. There is a description of Greek, European, Armenian, Turkish and Jewish hospitals. Finally there is a description of a military hospital which was organised during the period of Greek possession of Smyrna. That hospital was established in order to take care not only of the injured soldiers but of all the people who were requesting for medical services without any national or religious discrimination.

Category: Volume 45, N 2
Hits: 593 Hits
Created Date: 15-06-2006
Authors: Antonis Chatzinikolaou , George Pierrakos