For healthcare professionals only

Research Article

Housing, health, and illness.

Br Med J 1978; 2 doi: (Published 08 July 1978) Cite this as: Br Med J 1978;2:100
  1. J A Gray


    Cases referred to a community physician in his role as medical adviser to a housing authority were reviewed. A new system of classifying health problems was devised because conventional diagnostic classification was found to be inappropriate. The effectiveness of medical intervention was apparently low, since only 29 out of 612 (4.7%) applications for rehousing on medical grounds were successful. The effectiveness of the community physician's role was limited by the available resources and the number of cases he could take before the housing committee. It is proposed that the use of medical resources for intervention in such cases is acceptably efficient, though this proposal is based on value judgement rather than on economic grounds. Doctors should be concerned in improving housing conditions, which are still unacceptably poor in many parts of Britain, in the interests of improving general standards of public health.