Medical District

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Medical District


in the USSR and other socialist coun-tries, a section of a populated area with a designated number of inhabitants being served by district doctors.

The historically developed division of areas into medical districts is one of the fundamental principles of the Soviet system of health care. Depending on the territory served, a distinction is made between urban, rural, and factory medical districts. The standard urban medical district has been established with a total population of 4,000 (on an average). A rural medical district varies from 5,000 to 7,000 persons living within a radius of from 5 to 10 km. The basic type of a factory medical district is considered to be one with 1,500 workers; its size, however, depends on such factors as the branch of industrial production involved and the presence of occupational hazards. The number of workers in a factory medical district ranges, therefore, from 500 (for example, in the chemical and mining industries) to 2,000.

The district principle governs the work assignments of internists, pediatricians, obstetrician-gynecologists, and phthisiologists. The leading role in a medical district belongs to the internist, who provides the population with medical assistance, which he renders to patients of his medical district both in the polyclinic and in their homes. The internist observes patients until they recover and determines the period when workers and office employees are incapable of working. He sends them to the medical advisory commission and the medical labor commission of experts, to the hospital, and to physicians in other specialties for consultation. The internist supervises dispensary care and conducts health education work. The district internist must have a good knowledge of the population of his district, as well as of the working conditions and daily life of his patients. Nurses also work with the physicians who are providing service to the medical district: internists are assigned one nurse; pediatricians are assigned one or two nurses; and obstetriciangynecologists, phthisiologists, and surgeons each share a nurse with another district.

In addition to providing general medical services, a factory physician conducts periodic preliminary inspections in order to prevent occupational diseases; he supervises the factory’s compliance with hygienic standards and regulations; and he conducts a systematic analysis of the incidence of illness among workers and office employees.


Freidlin, S. Ia. Gorodskaia poliklinika (Organizatsiia raboty). Leningrad, 1961.


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