Local health machinery should guarantee protection against the evils mentioned in preceding chapters. In general, one man is better than three to execute, although three may be better than one to legislate. Where small communities do not wish to have the entire state sanitary code rigidly administered, they can adopt New York's method of a legislative board of three members, headed by an executive, whose business it is to act, not talk; to watch subordinates, and to enforce rigidly and continuously ordinances passed by the board. The National Bureau of Census places under the general heading Health and Sanitation the following activities: health administration, street cleaning and refuse disposal, sewers and sewage disposal. Sanitarians generally emphasize also the health significance of efficient water service.

A community's health programme should be clearly outlined in the annual budget. Where health work is given funds without specification of the kinds of work to be done, serious evils may be overlooked and lesser evils permitted to monopolize the energies of health officers. Again, after money has been voted to prevent an evil, records should be made of work done when done, and of money spent when spent, so that any diversion will be promptly made known. The best present guides to budget making, to educational health reports, and to records that show efficiency or inefficiency of health administrators are the budget and report of the department of health for New York City, and the story of their evolution told in Making a Municipal Budget, by the Bureau of Municipal Research.

To find out whether local machinery is adequate, the reader must enumerate the things that need to be done in his community, remembering that in all parts of the United States to-day there are sanitary laws offering protection against dangers to health, excepting some dangers not understood until recently, such as child labor, dangerous trades, lack of safety devices. Adequate local protection, however, will not become permanent until adequate state machinery is secured.

State health machinery should be of two kinds,—fact-gathering and executive supervision through inspection. The greatest service of state boards of health is to educate localities as to their own needs, using the experience of all communities to teach each community in how far its health administration menaces itself and its neighbors. In addition to registration of contagious diseases, facts as to deaths and births should be registered. State health boards should "score" communities as dairies and milk shops are now being scored by the National Bureau of Animal Industries and several boards of health. When communities persist in maintaining a public nuisance and in failing to enforce health laws, state health machinery should be made to accomplish by force what it has failed to accomplish by education.

National Machinery Has Stimulated Local Milk Inspection And State Dairy Inspection

States alone can cope adequately with dangers to milk and water sources and to food. The economic motive of farmers has developed strong veterinary boards for the protection of cattle. Similar executive precaution must soon be taken by cities for the protection of babies and adults of the human species. It is far more economical to insure clean dairies, clean water sources, and wholesome manufactured foods by state inspectors than by local inspectors. At present the task of obtaining clean milk and clean water falls upon the few cities enlightened enough and rich enough to finance the inspection of community foods. Once tested, it would be very easy to prove that properly supported state health authorities will save many times the cost of their health work in addition to thousands of lives.

County or district machinery is little known in America. For that reason rural sanitary administration is neglected and rural hospitals are lacking. In the British Isles rural districts are given almost as careful inspection as are cities. Houses may not be built below a certain standard of lighting, ventilation, and conveniences. Outbuildings must be a safe distance from wells. Dairies must be kept clean. Patients suffering from transmissible diseases may be removed by force to hospitals. What is more to the point, rural hospitals have proved that patients cared for by them are far more apt to recover than patients cared for much more expensively and less satisfactorily at home, while less likely to pollute water and milk sources or otherwise to endanger health.

With national machinery the chapter on Vital Statistics has already dealt. We shall undoubtedly soon have a national board of health. Like the state boards, its first function should be educative. In addition, however, there are certain administrative functions where inefficiency may result in serious losses to nation, state, and locality. National quarantine, national inspection of meats, foods, and drugs are administrative functions of vital consequence to every citizen. Authorities are acquainted at the present time with the fact that the sanitary administration of the army and navy is unnecessarily and without excuse wasteful of human energy and human life. In the Spanish American War 14 soldiers died of disease for 1 killed in battle; in the Civil War 2 died of disease to 1 killed in battle; during the wars of the last 200 years 4 have died of disease for 1 killed in battle. Yet Japan in her war with Russia, by using means known to the United States Army in 1860, gave health precedence over everything else and lost but 1 man to disease for 4 killed in battle. Diseases are still permitted to make havoc with American commerce because the national government does not apply to its own limits the standards which it has successfully applied to Cuba and Panama.

"The Japanese invented nothing and had no peculiar knowledge or skill; they merely took occidental science and used it. The remarkable thing is not what they did, but that they were allowed to do it. It is a terrible thing that Congress should choose to make one of its rare displays of economy in a matter where a few thousand dollars saved means, in case our army should have anything to do, not only the utterly needless and useless loss of thousands of lives, but an enormous decrease of military efficiency, and might, conceivably, make all the difference between victory and defeat."