Journal of the New Zealand Medical Association, 29-June-2007, Vol 120 No 1257
Medical Benevolent Fund and the Defence Union
Published in the N Z Med J 1907;6(24).
The Committee of the New Zealand MEDICAL BENEVOLENT FUND and the New Zealand MEDICAL DEFENCE FUND. LTD., wish to before the notice of medical men residing in the Dominion the existence of the two in the hope of their seeing their way to becoming members of either one or both of them.
The BENEVOLENT FUND has for its object “The relief of Legally Qualified Medical Men and their Families under severe and urgent distress, occasioned by sickness, accident, or other calamity.”
The annual subscription is £1, or the subscriber may become a Life Member by paying a single subscription of £10. By the rules of the Fund the Committee is not able to deal with the capital until £1,000 has accummulated. There is now about £900 subscribed towards that sum.
With regard to the DEFENCE UNION, the funds so far have been only small, and the most the Committee has been able to do is to assist in paying the legal expenses of medical men who have been in the unfortunate position of defendant in blackmail cases.
The ultimate end the Committee hopes to attain is to be able to take up any deserving case and defend it in the Law Courts, as is done by the Defence Union at Home. The annual subscription is £1, but the. Committee considers it unnecessary to call up the whole amount every year, and fixed the yearly sum of 5/- per member, the other 15/- to be called up if required. This ruling applies only to members of the N.Z. Branch of the B.M.A.; other subscribers pay £1 annually, and are not liable to further calls.
The Union has now been in existence over 10 years, and has been able during that time to pay wholly or in part the legal expenses of several medical men, but with a larger membership more could be done, and the Committee hopes that every medical man in New Zealand will see the need of joining the Union.
The Honorary Secretary, Dr. W. Irving, of Christchurch, will be glad to give all particulars.
The New Zealand Medical Benevolent Fund is one to which every doctor ought to devote the modest pound per annum which is asked of him. He who either by favor of fortune or by a life of arduous toil has gained a competence for himself, should remember that there are always less fortunate brethren to consider; and the young one who is fighting for a position should not forget that this is the cheapest form of insurance that he can go in for.
The Defence Fund has happily had but few calls made on it, but any day some serious need for it may arise, and the mere fact that there is such a fund, proving that we are ready and able to stand by a professional brother when being wrongly attacked, is a powerful protection.
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