MEDICAL SERVICES DURING COUP D’ETAT OF THE RUSSIAN GENERALS
On 27 April 1881 prince Batemberg suspended the constitution and appointed a cabinet of Russian generals. Himself he declared that credentials for seven years are wanted otherwise he refuses the crown. One way or another this political situation persisted till 7 September 1883 when the generals left for Russia and the constitution was introduced again for correction at the Great National Assembly.
The organization on the medical part of the kingdom during the period mentioned above is assigned to physician Ivan Vasilievich Grimm of Derpt, Estonia. His post was general-inspector on the medical part together with minister of the Supreme Medical Council. He is directly subordinate to the prince while Dr. D. Mollov, chief commissioner at the Council, gives rapport to the Sector of Internal Affairs. First thing the general-inspector issues is an increase of staff: thus, the Supreme Medical Council numbers six members – Grimm /minister/, Dr. Mollov /senior at Internal Affairs/, Dr. Mirkov /senior at War/, Tegarten /senior at Chemical Laboratory/, Neyman /a military/ and Dr. Bradel /secretary of Council/.
Main points of the new medical services are improvement of legislation, organization and function of health care. In 1882 seven additional sanitary laws are issued to complement the “Temporary rules for medical administration in Bulgaria” from 1879. Here some prophylactic tasks are clarified with respect the role of rural and urban physicians, the sanitary control in manufactures and schools, the need for health education, etc. Now a foundation for scientific institutions is established with a Chemical Laboratory at the Supreme Medical Council. Head of laboratory is Albert Tegarten and activity extends on analytic, microscopic, pharmacognostic, forensic and other investigations. Another scientific establishment is the Variola Institute at Razgrad district hospital with Dr. Boris Ox as a manager. Applied research and preparation of antivariola vaccine is done here. According special instructions /”prikazi”/ organized psychiatry, obstetrics-gynecology and dermato-venerology help is delivered. Also dental health care is provided for first time.
Statistics in the year 1883 shows a number of one hundred and thirty physicians in the kingdom including ĺight pharmaceutists and four veterinarians. At the same time on general-inspectors initiative Bulgarian physicians are sent for specialization abroad. First in the list of those allowances is Dr. Stephan Bocharov in the field of military hygiene at Petersburg Academy. Meanwhile in the country new hospitals are opened up – six with 50 beds, four with 20 beds and also in seven towns construction of new hospital buildings is started.
A serious fault in the medical services is lack of scientific associations and a medical community. Scientific information is scarce. A necessary step is publishing of periodicals. First medical journal is “Medicinska Sbirka” /medical antilogy/ with editor Dr. Mirkov and leading article on the antiseptic method of John Lister. Subscription is made to 5 Russian, 4 German, 4 French, 1 English and 1 American journal. A library at Alexander’s Hospital is administered and international book exchange started.
General-inspector Grimm succeeded for his short stay in the kingdom to embrace with a noteworthy consistency all spheres of health care. His indepth evaluations published in “Darzhaven Vestnik” /state paper/ have scholarly character and clarify every aspect of medical services administration.