Nowadays, health protection is guaranteed by the government and Spanish Constitution, so that all Spaniards are assured of the right to health care independently of their economic or work situation. Currently, we have a universal Health Assistance Service in our country that covers the entire Spanish population.
However, not many years ago things were very different from how they are today. In the first middle part of twentieth century people had to pay for medical services and only poor people were under local government protection. One part of municipal budget was set aside for charity assistance and the health care system was covered with by this part of the budget, along with other benefit issues.
Given all this, it means that one century ago the health system offered by Alcalá la Real’s government to its citizens was the assistance of four doctors to care all those people who were registered as poor.
These doctors also had to take care of poor people who were in the Civil Hospital, a charity centre managed by a group of nuns who belonged to the Mercedarias Congregation.
The Civil Hospital was built at the end of nineteenth century with the funds that a religious man had donated many years before. He was D. Pedro Moya y Arjona, an abbot of the town, whose desire was to use his money and properties to build a hospital where poor people could be treated.
After his death in 1631, the local church handled his funds, which were later managed by the Local Charity Junta, but the hospital was not built until 1851, when the local government was in charge of the abbot’s bequest.
The local council drew up the blueprint for the hospital in 1866 and built part of it in the following years. In 1878 the Hospital was provisionally opened, but only with the most needed sections.
As a matter of fact, it was a poor hospital to take care of poor people. Its construction was never finished and during the time it remained standing it was in need of continuous reforms. A century later the hospital was demolished and nowadays there is a nursery in its place.
However, we are interested in the people who were treated there. We ask ourselves about the characteristics of these poor people and whether their health problems were different from those inhabitants of Alcalá la Real who were not registered as poor people.
Therefore, in the main menu of this blog, under the category Civil Hospital, you will find all the data compiled about patients who were helped there, their diseases and mortality causes, the professionals and people who took care of them, the nuns who managed the hospital and everything of importance related to it.