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up to about 700 on June 30. Consequently, we have not anything that would give us a fair test on it at all. Our per capita cost this year past will be very much larger than it will be when we are operating under more nearly normal conditions.
The CHAIRMAN. Let us have the per capita cost under the most adverse conditions.
Col. WADSWORTH. That would be as operated last year.
Gen. Woop. Operating under the conditions referred to by Col. Wadsworth, our per capita cost at Marion was $2.50 a day.
The CHAIRMAN. That was one of the most difficult problems you had to deal with, was it not?
Gen. Wood. Yes, sir.
COL. WADSWORTH. That and the Mountain Branch are about on the same basis.
The CHAIRMAN. Does that include the cost of repairs?
Col. WADSWORTH. That does not include the cost of alterations; no, sir. That is treated as construction.
The CHAIRMAN. Does it include any equipment of any kind?
Col. WADSWORTH. That would be general equipment. It would include what equipment we ordinarily buy from year to year. Last year in this conversion we put in special equipment in very large measure throughout, because our laboratories and everything were refitted and rebuilt from the bottom up until we had new equipment, but that really came in as a construction item. This year anything of that kind that would happen would be an operating cost.
The CHAIRMAN. What do you charge the Bureau of War Risk per capita?
Col. WADSWORTH. We do not make any charge per capita.
Gen. Wood. I think that will be adopted in 1923, but it has not been adopted yet.
The CHAIRMAN. What is your notion about what it will be?
I now have the figures as to the cost at the Mountain Branch.
The CHAIRMAN. What causes that to be so much higher than the figures for the Marion Branch?
Gen. Woon. The reason it is higher was because we had hospital patients, and a large number of hospital patients, probably, for a longer time there than we had at Marion. In addition to that fact the medical idea of treatment of tuberculosis carries with it a very, very heavy subsistence cost.
The CHAIRMAX. That is a more expensive treatment than the other?
Gen. Wood. Yes, sir; absolutely. If you will take the figures I have here showing the cost to-day of food you will see that the cost per day of food at a tuberculosis sanitarium is probably twice as much as any other place. I think I have those figures right here.
The CHAIRMAN. I think it would be interesting if you would put those tables in the record.
Gen. Wood. I will just cite the figures.
Cost of administration ($55,377.26), 0.00467 per cent of amount expended.
Gen. Wood. That includes everything from a man's clothing, food, shelter, hospital, and so forth. That is the general expense. This column here [indicating] is for alterations and improvements, which is separate, and this is what it costs us to maintain the homes outside of the improvements we put on.
This is a table for the month of September, 1921, and shows the cost of the rations.
Branches, National Home for Disabled Veteran Soldiers.
(Rations consumed per member month of September, 1920, compared with month of September, 1921.1
1921.. Battle Mountain Sanitarium:
1. 15 1. 25
2. 43 3.37
89 1. 18
17.88 25. 40
19. 27 20.85
The CHAIRMAN. Will you be kind enough to tell us whether there was any variation between the month of September and any other month!
Gen. Wood. Not very much. This happens to be the last one we have prepared.
The CHAIRMAN. And that is a typical month?
Gen. Wood. That is a typical month. I might say in parentheses that some of the hopes of your predecessor, Mr. Good, in regard to reduced cost of food and things of that kind did not fully materialize. Of course, we pay less for food but the cut was not as big as we expected or as Mr. Good expected.
The CHAIRMAX. It may be that before the year is over you will realize further on that?
Col. WADSWORTH. We are realizing on that to some extent, but it was not what we hoped when we were here last spring. ample, you take a typical case at the Central Branch, our general mess, which is our mess where the domiciliary patients eat, was 29 cents a day. In the general hospital it was 35 cents a day.
The CHAIRMAN. 'Ï'hat is less than the Army ration, is it not?
The CHAIRMAN. It is 10 cents a day less than the amount authorized in the appropriation. That pays for all your food, does it?
Gen. Wood. Yes, sir; cooking and everything else.
Gen. Wood. I know it does not include service, but that was not the question asked. When you get to your tuberculosis, that goes up to nearly 50 cents on account of the large amount of fresh eggs, fresh milk, and articles of that kind, which very largely make up a tuberculosis ration. In addition to that fact, I will plead guilty at the Mountain Branch to one thing, and that is that I know for awhile there was a good deal of waste which we have now cut out. We have put in a new commissary and we have had a reduction in the cost per capita since he has been there of 16 cents a day, and we hope it will be more.
The CHAIRMAN. A saving of 16 cents a day there is what reduced the cost to 29 cents ?
Gen. Woon. No; I say that at the Mountain Branch, which I said was very high, $3.56–
The CHAIRMAX. As against $2.50 at the other branch?
Gen. Wood. Yes. Since then, with certain cutting out of waste and economies of operation, the new commisary there in two months cut the cost per diem 16 cents.
Mr. Woop. That is over one-third.
Gen. Wood. No; that was on a much higher basis. That was a special mess.
Mr. Woop. How much of a reduction with this cut at the Mountain Home of 16 cents a day?
Gen. Woon. That was from about 90 cents to 75 cents.
Col. W'ADSWORTH. We had a woefully wasteful man. It was when a new mess was organized there and started in with dietitians grabbing out for all the high-priced articles before we could get it down on an organization basis.
The CHAIRMAN. Do you think it was just waste or was there some graft?
Col. WADSWORTH. I do not think there was any graft. I think it was a lack of organization system. The president of the board and myself and the chief surgeon went there and spent a week on the ground, and made a change of three or four people who were outlining this thing because we thought they were buying things there that were not being eaten and were dumped into the garbage. That might happen one day, but if they did not correct it the next day and went on ordering the same sort of stuff it would be pure waste.
Mr. Wood. What do you do with your garbage-feed it to hogs! Col. WADSWORTH. No; we sell it.
CHARACTER AND QUALITY OF FOOD.
Mr. Byrns. Right here I would like to ask you whether or not you have ever made any investigation to ascertain whether or not the character and quality of food with which you supplied tuberculosis and other patients is on a par with that supplied in Army and War Risk Hospitals.
Gen. WOOD. I think, Mr. Byrns, it is. I know what we are buying, and we have a very continual overturn, because the tuberculosis patient is the champion traveler of the world, and we have had some very favorable reports made upon our food by quite a number of the travelers who visit all hospitals in the course of the year.
Mr. Byrxs. And you think it is just as good in quality?
Gen. Woon. I think so, from what they tell me. I have been at the Mountain Branch in the last year frequently, and when I have been there I have eaten the ration which the men were eating in the mess, and I will say to you frankly that they get a larger variety and more grub than I do at home. Now, you may be interested to know, Mr. Byrns, what the consumption per day is of food at the Mountain Branch, which is the branch we are speaking of. In September it included practically 9 ounces of bread, 21 ounces of butter, more than one-half ounce of cereal, nearly 1 ounce of coffee, 9.32 ounces of fruit, 21 ounces of meat, 11 pints of milk, 6 ounces of sugar, and almost 29.30 ounces of fresh vegetables. Now, that is a pretty good day's ration per man per day.
The CHAIRMAN. Do these figures you give us as to cost include the hospital patients sent over to you by the War Risk?
Gen. Woon. Yes, sir; it includes everybody.
Mr. Byrxs. I may say that I was induced to ask the question by reason of the fact that your expenses are so much below the others.
Gen. Wood. I want to say one thing, Mr. Byrns. I do not think that really any of us to-day are so much entitled to the credit for it. The real man who was the pioneer in this work, to my mind, was our mutual friend, Maj. Wadsworth. I think the keynote of economy and efficiency which the board has had ever since then is largely due to the very high keynote which Maj. Wadsworth struck during the years he was president of the board.
Mr. Byrxs. General, I asked the question when other parties were before the committee with reference to this difference in cost and the statement was made that the reason there was such a great difference in cost was that you had a number of the soldiers of the past war, domiciliary patients, I reckon you would call them, at the Mountain Branch and at the Marion Branch, and I had understood that you had absolutely moved all of those soldiers to other soldier homes and that these hospitals were devoted solely to the hospitalization of war risk patients.
Gen. Wood. They are solely devoted to war-risk patients or other beneficiaries of the home. We have not a barracks bed left at Marion or at the Mountain Branch.
Mr. Wood. Where did those soldiers go?
Gen. Woon. The men from the Mountain Branch were moved to Hampton and the men from Marion were moved to Danville.
DISPOSITION OF GARBAGE.
Mr. Wood. Let me ask you a question in this connection. You say you
swill. You must have a great amount of it? Gen. Woon. No, sir; not so very much. I want to say, begging your pardon, that we do have a certain amount of it, but it is not so very great, because there is one thing we have prided ourselves on, and I will say this with a certain amount of pride, and that is the closest inspection of the garbage hopper on the part of headquarters officers visiting the branches. I have spent many hours on the garbage hopper myself.
Mr. Wood. Have you ever taken any pains to ascertain whether or not it would be more or less profitable to the institution to raise