Geriatric Day Hospital — the Geneva Experience
It is gratifying to be here in Frankfurt with the opportunity to address this conference of the “first generation”. Let me briefly explain what I mean by this term. Many of us played a role in founding and establishing of day hospitals in our particular countries. As with many inchoate concepts, that of the day hospital was greeted with skepticism and resistance and our initial efforts took on the quality of a struggle. We had to convince, cajole, and exhort. It behoved us to win over the administration, our colleagues, the insurance companies and the patients. That incipient phase — when we often quoted Brocklehurst in many languages, about the manifold advantages of this “hospital without beds” to the patient, his family and society at large — has now passed. But other challenges remain. We, the first generation, have the conviction, the enthusiasm and the ardour of the pioneer. But we must always take great pains not to develop the myopia and inflexible rigidity of the idealist. We come to Frankfurt filled with great expectations; and we hope that the dialogue and exchange of our respective experiences over the next two days will stimulate us to not only examine our assumptions and to scrutinize our endeavours, but will also serve to rekindle our commitment.
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