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Page:Economic Development in Denmark Before and During the World War.djvu/66

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ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT IN DENMARK

for the treatment of persons suffering from tuberculosis, provides that subsidies may be granted to sanitoriums recognized by the state within a certain limit; and that any support granted by the state or municipality to families whose natural bread-winners are receiving treatment in these sanitoriums does not come under the head of poor-relief. The state may contribute an amount not exceeding one-half the cost of building such sanitoriums or hospitals, within a certain sum for the accommodation of each patient. Thus a very large number of hospitals for tuberculosis patients have gradually been erected, and several thousand patients are treated yearly.

But there is another important task which begins only when the patient leaves the sanitorium. Our forefathers lived in a happy or unhappy ignorance of hygiene and the dangers of infection. To eat out of the same dish, drink out of the same cup and smoke the same pipe appeared to them neither unsavoury nor unsafe. Modern bacteriology has educated people more or less, however, and tuberculosis patients themselves return to the occupations of everyday life as apostles of the observance of rules of cleanliness and prudence. But with this growing enlightenment there has sprung up a dread of infection, which sometimes makes it difficult for a patient discharged from a tuberculosis sanitorium to obtain work. If he is skilled in office-work, for example, his fellow-workers in the office may shun him as one infected with plague. It is, therefore, a very important duty to help such people, who though they are well and able to work, are unable to find employment. And this does not apply only to persons who have recovered from tuberculosis; it applies to all persons who by disfavour of the times are enrolled in the great army of unemployed.

Care of Unemployed

Here is a problem which was little known in the days of the guilds. Unemployment during their journeys was an