Medical profession Mutualism Health care systems Social History Spain 19th and 20th century
León Sanz P. Professional Responsibility and the Welfare System in Spain at the Turn of the 19th Century. Hygiea Internationalis 2006;(1):75-90.
This essay analyzes the attitudes of physicians prior to the establishment of a social welfare system in Spain, based on professional sources from 1890-1910. Firstly we revised the Systems of Collectivised Assistance during the Transition from the 19th to the 20th Century; then, the article discusses the corporativist reaction of Physicians to the different Welfare Systems. We observe that the criticism of insurance companies was unanimous. Nonetheless, there was a diversity of opinions regarding mutual societies and the associations of mutual assistance. The professional arguments used against the associations, mutuals and insurance companies were formulated around, in addition to the professional instability of the times, the changes in civil and criminal responsibility of the physician as a result of new legal regulations. We found physicians in favour of establishing a welfare system that was not exclusively public and which, in addition to benefiting the needy, would benefit the interests of the profession as well.