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  The Sanatorium Age

 The End Of An Era

Those opening their Tuesday edition of the Globe and Mai Classifieds on January 30, 1973, were greeted with this advertisement for the sale of the Ninette Sanatorium in Manitoba.

1948 marked the introduction of antimicrobials in treating tuberculosis in Canada. To the Canadian suffering form TB and to TB caregivers across the country, antimicrobials were a welcome sign of help, and a dream come true; but to the big old TB sanatorium, the end was in sight. Antimicrobial treatment--which shortened the duration of in-patient treatment--and a slow decline in the incidence of tuberculosis, led to a sudden surplus of beds in sanatoria and TB hospitals. Within 10 years after 1953, the number of beds had been halved, from 18,977 to 9,722. Even with this marked decrease in beds, total occupancy fell from around 90% in the early 1950s to around 70% ten years later. The average length of stay of patients had fallen to 7-8 months.

- Introduction
- First
- Types
- Life
- End

The concept of sanatorium treatment as an essential part of treatment of tuberculosis persisted until the 1970s. By then only a small minority of patients were admitted to hospitals while most were treated as out-patients. Today TB is a disease that can be treated in the home, simply by taking the regimented number and types of pills for 6-9 months in most cases. Most patients that are being treated for tuberculosis today are not laid up in beds at all, but are continuing their daily routines with the help of a prescribed medication program.