Joseph, A.E. and Moon, G.
From retreat to health centre: legislation, commercial opportunity and the repositioning of a Victorian private psychiatric hospital
Social Science & Medicine, 55, (12), . (doi:10.1016/S0277-9536(01)00364-1).
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This paper examines the interplayof commercial imperatives and health care legislation in the survival of a privately
owned psychiatric hospital in Guelph, Ontario, Canada. Using documentary and archival evidence, we show how the
Homewood Retreat (later Sanitarium, and eventuallyHealth Centre) was able to respond to and anticipate legislative
developments through the agencyof successive medical superintendents and the structural positioning of the institution
as an inextricablyintegrated element in local and provincial mental health provision. Our case studyis used to draw out
wider lessons concerning agency, legislative context and treatment modality in the determination of organizational
histories. We conclude bynoting the important role of the private sector in ensuring the continued provision of an
asylum form of mental health care.
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