Fifty Years of Group Medicine In Tampa, Florida

Fifty Years of Group Medicine In Tampa, Florida


  • Fifty Years of Group Medicine In Tampa, Florida

Published Date

  • published 1941


Another incentive for group medical treatment was the
prevalence of venereal disease in the early days of the colony when it
consisted of several hundred men, but scarcely any women except a few
prostitutes. Dwellings were at a premium, and most of the cigar workers
lived in crowded rooming houses pending the time when earnings would
permit them to build homes and send for their women folk. This
situation encouraged intercourse with prostitutes many of whom were
diseased. One Latin writer related that on Saturday nights men would
form long lines in front of houses of the women.

The medical benefit departments of the Tampa Latin clubs are so
nearly alike that a description of one, Centro Espanol, the oldest and
most typical, should suffice for all. However, a general outline of the
others will be included. Members of all the associations pay a stipulated
amount of weekly or monthly dues for which they receive all necessary
medical and hospital services.

In September 1891, Centro Espanol having been organized with a
nucleus of about 100 members, received its charter from the State, and
eight months later built a $16,000 clubhouse with a theater, ballroom,
recreation hall and other facilities for entertainment of members. This
was financed by an issue of stock at $10 per share, sold among members
and well-wishers. A medical clinic was established, which in 1904, was
expanded into a $60,000 hospital. Still in operation (May 1939), this
institution has been added to and modernized from time to time, and