Disease and healthcare on the Isle of Man

Historian article

By Caroline Smith, published 28th June 2021

Disease and healthcare on the Isle of Man

Caroline Smith provides a perspective, past and present, of the experiences of epidemics on the Isle of Man. 

In recent times health has been at the forefront of everyone’s minds. Epidemics and pandemics are not new, but the Covid-19 outbreak is probably the first to have such a noticeable effect on the modern world. The Isle of Man has been highlighted, at times, as having ‘done well’. Not only have there been relatively few deaths but, once the first lockdown was lifted, life generally returned to normal. Nevertheless, restrictions regarding travel to the island and subsequent isolation were kept in place. There is no doubt that a combination of having only two points of entry to the island and having a small population made controlling the virus much easier. The island of Guernsey had a similar experience and the two islands partnered up for a while with an air bridge which went some way to help the rather beleaguered tourist industry. However, this does not mean that the island has escaped without any suffering or that the health of the people and the economy have not been affected. As healthcare, hospitals and vaccines are all taking up their fair share of the news and, sometimes ferocious, online debate, it raises questions about healthcare on the island throughout the centuries...

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