A short history of Hospitals in Queensland

Extract from http://www.brisbanehistory.com /convict_buildings.html

1827: A Convict Hospital was built on North Quay in this tiny convict town, first settled in 1824-1825 with 45 males and 2 females. It steadily increased, reaching 1,241 in 1831. In 1832 a Military Hospital was also built on North Quay about one hundred yards from the corner of Queen Street. It subsequently became the Survey Office.

Extract from http://www.brisbanehistory.com /brisbane_hospitals.html

1842: Penal settlement closed and free settlement starts with Moreton Bay now laid out in dusty, unsealed streets and blocks. Click here for an early photo of George Street http://en.wikipedia.org /wiki/George_Street, _Brisbane.

Moreton Bay Public Hospital

1846: The recorded population of Moreton Bay area is now 4000 Aborigines and 2257 migrants. Moreton Bay Courier makes frequent mention of local indigenous people who were working and living in the district. In 1849 the first public hospital in Brisbane, the Moreton Bay Hospital, was established on 12 January, 1849. It was this old Convict Hospital on North Quay and was grossly overcrowded trying to cater to the growing population of post convict era Brisbane and surrounding areas. In its first year, 94 patients were treated and operated that year on a budget of 370 pounds. Resident surgeon of Brisbane Hospital was Dr.Frederick Barton, 1851-1863. The hospital operated on subscriptions from those in the community who could afford to give. In turn these subscribers were issued with tickets which would entitle the bearer to medical treatment at the hospital. Those who could not afford the subscriptions and needing treatment went in search of tickets from benevolent subscribers. Another source of funds was the fines levied in the Police Courts.

1856: Brisbane's non-indigenous population approached 6,000. The name of Moreton Bay Hospital was changed to the Brisbane Hospital as other hospitals in various towns opened. The opening of other hospitals meant that the subscriptions base dwindled and a call went out for more local subscribers. Epidemics of diseases brought in from the tropics swept through Brisbane such as malaria, dengue fever, typhus, typhoid, amoebic dysentery and smallpox. Gunshot wounds and knife injuries from numerous bar and street brawls requiring surgery, were on the rise. In the 1860s tropical diseases were introduced by the unfortunate South Sea Islanders or Kanakas, who were 'Blackbirded' and brought to Brisbane and northern Queensland where they were forced to work on cotton plantations and cane fields. The practice was outlawed by the Queensland Government in the 1890s and most Islanders were sent home.

Brisbane Hospital moves to Herston

1867: More than 35,000 flocked to Brisbane between 1860-1865, following separation from NSW in 1859 combined with the development of a proper immigration scheme, but with no support from the previous New South Wales government, the building of a larger hospital was delayed until the Queensland Government accumulated sufficient funds of its own. The new hospital was completed in 1867. Standing on land at Herston, the facility contained Fever Wards, long low blocks located just behind the main building. The patients were moved from the hospital in George Street to the new Brisbane Hospital on 8th January, 1867. There were complaints that the new hospital was located too far out of the town and would have been better sited at Spring Hill or Petrie Terrace. The first nurses graduated from the hospital in 1888.
In 1966, Queen Elizabeth 2nd gave permission to add the prefix "Royal" to the Brisbane Hospital and in 1967, the Queen also approved the use of the "Royal" prefix for the Brisbane Women's Hospital.

Extract from http://www.oesr.qld.gov.au /products/publications /qld-past-present/qld-past-present-1896-1996-ch08-sec-02.pdf

Free Hospitals in Queensland

1923: Hospitals Act to establish hospital districts and boards, with Qld State and Local governments guaranteeing board funding.

1925: Amalgamation of the two cities Brisbane and South Brisbane to be administered by the Greater Brisbane City Council. Quite ambitiously (to some) it included six towns - Toowong Ithaca(i.e.Paddington and Red Hill) Windsor Hamilton Sandgate and Wynnum, nine shires - Moggill Taringa Enoggera Kedron Toombul north of the river, Balmoral Belmont Coorparoo Stephens(i.e.Annerley) south of the river as well as part of the shires of Yeerongpilly and Tingalpa.

1936: Hospitals Act formally grouped hospitals in a district under the authority of the board. Queensland Home Secretary Hanlon's stated objective for the hospital service was "to give the general public the best possible service at the least possible cost". Not officially free, but little coercion used to make patients in public hospitals pay.

1944: An amendment to the Hospitals Act when all public hospitals (except the Mater) came under state government control and now provided for free hospital treatment. Funded through state resources, principally the Golden Casket.

1975: Federal Govt Medibank scheme to provide free public hospital treatment throughout Australia.


A short history of The Blue Nursing Service (in 1985)

Extract from http://www.abs.gov.au /ausstats/abs@.nsf/0 /911b5af72f818795 ca2569de0024ed5a ?OpenDocument

In early 1953 as Brisbane's population reached 500,000 the Rev. Arthur Preston, superintendent minister of the West End Methodist Mission, responded to a request for a home nursing service. He initiated a meeting between Mr Norman Brandon, Mission Treasurer, Mrs Anderson, Registered Nurse and Rev. McKibbin, Newtown Methodist Mission.

They agreed that since there was a shortage of hospital beds and existing home nursing bodies were unable to cope with the demands of a growing population, there seemed to be a great need for a home nursing service. Financial support of £30 (equivalent to $1500 in 2010) and a commitment by the mission enabled this venture to become a reality. Generous assistance given by the press and media and members of the newly formed committee resulted in donations of money and offers of assistance. Miss Olive Crombie was employed as the first registered nurse to work with this service, named the Blue Nursing Service after the blue uniforms chosen by the registered nurse. Blue was selected not only because it was more practical than white but because the colour is associated with acts of care and mercy which was considered the emphasis of the Service.

By the end of 1956 the vision of a State wide community nursing service was becoming a reality with the setting up of regional centres. It also became apparent that a coordinating body was essential to provide guidance and direction, to negotiate with governments, and to disburse funds provided by the State and Commonwealth Governments. This led to the development of the Blue Nursing Service Council in March 1957.

Early in 1974 a state nursing executive officer was appointed to become the official representative on all nursing matters. The Blue Nursing Service was successful in receiving monies for education through the community health program and by 1976 a nurse educator had been appointed to coordinate education programs for what were now 47 centres throughout Queensland. The education thrust commenced at that time then continued and by 1985 the Blue Nursing Service council was employing 3 staff development officers, with the role of state nursing executive officer incorporated into the position of Director of Nursing Services. Now the Blue Nursing Service had 59 centres from Mossman in the north to Coolangatta in the south and as far as Cunnamulla and Mount lsa in the west. Each centre had a committee of 15 persons: 9 appointed by the parish council of the Uniting Church, 1 director - a member of the Uniting Church and also appointed by the parish council of the Uniting Church, and 5 elected by the community.

The service also had 13 hostels, 10 nursing homes, 4 day therapy centres, 10 day care centres and was employing 422 registered nurses.

** End of 1985 Report