We're all well aware, because angry people on the teevee tell us so, that it's absolutely outrageous that anyone who can't afford it should be getting medical treatment. Well, apparently they thought so a century ago, too because . . . oh, wait, Albany was actually awash in free medical care for the poor in 1914. The biggest examples:
- Albany City Free Dispensary Association (Ash Grove and Trinity Place). "Object: To provide and maintain a free medical and surgical dispensary in the city of Albany, N.Y." The dispensary treated 1,679 people in that year, and provided 1,474 home visits by nurses. "Terms of treatment: Free to those unable to pay."
- Albany Hospital Dispensary (New Scotland Avenue). "Terms and qualifications for treatment: Free to the needy sick." 389 people received treatment there in 1914.
- The Homeopathic Hospital Dispensary (163 North Pearl Street). "To maintain in the city of Albany a homeopathic hospital and dispensary wherein medical and surgical treatment may be provided for such sick and disabled persons as may desire to avail themselves of its advantages." The Homeopathic Hospital was a little more picky than some of the others, being free "to the worthy sick poor, except those suffering from contagious diseases." They treated 1,488 people that year.
- St. Peter's Hospital Dispensary (Broadway, corner North Ferry Street). Treatment was "free to the needy sick or injured," though we should note that you had to make your case to a nun: "Application to be made to the sister superioress." (Yes, it says "superioress.") They treated 730 people that year.