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New Zealand Medical Services in Middle East and Italy

Duties and Responsibilities of Medical Administrators

Duties and Responsibilities of Medical Administrators

It is appropriate that some of the duties and responsibilities of those controlling the organisation and maintenance of the Army and Air medical services in New Zealand from 1939 onwards should be stated.

DGMS: The DGMS was the responsible adviser to the Chief of the General Staff, Army, and the Chief of Air Staff in all medical page 20 and sanitary matters, and, as the head of the medical service, administered it and was responsible for its efficiency. On purely technical matters he issued instructions to his representatives with lower formations, and he arranged movements of personnel through the Adjutant-General or Air Member for Personnel. He dealt directly with the Quartermaster-General on questions in connection with the siting and construction of camps, diet of troops, siting and construction of military hospitals, and dieting of hospitals. Subject to General Staff policy, he was responsible for the requirements of the troops so far as medical services, medical stores, and medical equipment were concerned.

ADMS: The ADMS at Army Headquarters was the chief assistant to the DGMS in all his duties.

Staff Officer and Quartermaster: The staff officer and quartermaster was in charge of all medical stores and was responsible for the equipment of all medical units and for the proper accounting for and periodical inspection of this equipment.

Deputy Director of Hygiene: The Deputy Director of Hygiene was the adviser of the DGMS on camp sites, buildings, water supply, drainage, and sewage disposal. He made systematic inspections of the camps in regard to hygiene, health of troops, control of preventable or infectious diseases, and instruction and training in hygiene and sanitation.

Matron-in-Chief: The Matron-in-Chief was responsible to the DGMS for the organisation and control of the New Zealand Army and RNZAF Nursing Services. In her duties she saw that none but properly trained and qualified nurses were recommended for appointment in the Army, Navy, and Air Nursing Services, and she made the recommendations for appointment of matrons of the hospitals under the control of the DGMS.

ADsMS Military Districts: In a military district the duties and responsibilities of an ADMS, who was appointed by the DGMS, were similar to those of the DGMS at Army Headquarters. He was under the direction of the DGMS and responsible to him for the efficient training of the medical units. He had to keep his District Commander informed on all important technical instructions received from the DGMS, and advise him on all medical and sanitary matters. He controlled all medical units in his district and was responsible to the DGMS for their efficiency, as well as for the adequate supply of medical stores to all units.

This, then, was the nucleus of administrators responsible for the handling of medical problems associated with mobilisation and the provision of medical services for home and overseas forces.

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organisational chart for army medical administration

Organisation of Adminstration of Army Medical Services. 1939–40