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Gaceta Sanitaria

Print version ISSN 0213-9111


PARRILLA VALERO, Fernando. In search of the origin of municipal pharmacists. Gac Sanit [online]. 2009, vol.23, n.1, pp.72-75. ISSN 0213-9111.

The evolution of public health in Spain during the 19th century can be divided into three stages. In the first stage (1812-1833), the reign of Fernando VII prevented the development of the liberal postulates: «the autonomy of the city councils in the matter of hygiene and public health». The second stage (1833-1873), was characterized by the legislative development of sanitary organization in Spain. As a result of this new legislative framework, and in the context of social hygiene («social inequality as the origin of disease»), the figures of municipal health professionals appeared, engaged by the city councils to be in charge of the medical assistance of the poor (municipal physician), of the pharmaceutical assistance of the poor (municipal pharmacist), and of the health inspection of meat from the slaughterhouses (municipal veterinarian). The third stage (1873-1904), marked the beginning of a new age (microbiology) and the beginning of the scientific method. Microbiology prompted the creation of municipal laboratories throughout the state and laid the foundations for the creation of the Healthcare Services of Medicine, Pharmacy and Veterinary Science at the beginning of the xx century. These organizations would have a well-defined organizational structure with wider functions.

Keywords : Public health; Municipal health; Municipal pharmacist; 19th century.

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