Celebrating 200 years of hospital health care in NewcastlePHOTOS

200 years of hospital care in the Hunter Hospital history: A Royal Newcastle Hospital ward in 1939. Dr. R Strurrock, later to become a well-known orthopaedic surgeon in Sydney, is pictured with Sr. Hilda Porter (matron in the late 1950’s) and nurses Sawtell, Atkins and McCam. This photograph is from the Hospital archives held by the University Archives in Cultural Collections, Auchmuty Library, the University of Newcastle, Australia.Royal Newcastle Hospital graduation (1958) From left to right Loraine Newcombe, Margaret Hodgon, Robin Masson, and Heather Pengilley. This photograph is from the Hospital archives held by the University Archives in Cultural Collections, Auchmuty Library, the University of Newcastle, Australia.
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Hospital history: Matron Porter and Dr. McCaffrey, Royal Newcastle Hospital.This photograph is from the Hospital archives held by the University Archives in Cultural Collections, Auchmuty Library, the University of Newcastle, Australia.

Hospital history: Royal Newcastle Hospital graduation (1958). From left to right Loraine Newcombe, Margaret Hodgon, Robin Masson, and Heather Pengilley.This photograph is from the Hospital archives held by the University Archives in Cultural Collections, Auchmuty Library, the University of Newcastle, Australia.

Hospital history: Royal Newcastle Hospital – North Wing.This photograph is from the Hospital archives held by the University Archives in Cultural Collections, Auchmuty Library, the University of Newcastle, Australia.

Hospital history: Royal Newcastle Hospital, Newcastle, [c.1914] In front is a dray with four horses, carrying a miniature horse and a loaded coal skip, as for a parade. Richard McAuliffe is in shirt sleeves.

Hospital history: Royal Newcastle Hospital – North Wing, taken from overlooking building. This photograph is from the Hospital archives held by the University Archives in Cultural Collections, Auchmuty Library, the University of Newcastle, Australia.

Hospital history: Ward room, Royal Newcastle Hospital. This photograph is from the Hospital archives held by the University Archives in Cultural Collections, Auchmuty Library, the University of Newcastle, Australia.

Hospital history: Moving cartons of medication, Royal Newcastle Hospital’s Pharmacy. This photograph is from the Hospital archives held by the University Archives in Cultural Collections, Auchmuty Library, the University of Newcastle, Australia.

John Hunter Hospital: This image was scanned from a photograph in the University’s historical photographic collection held by Cultural Collections at the University of Newcastle, NSW, Australia.

John Hunter: Nick Saunders standing outside the John Hunter Hospital site, New Lambton, Australia. This image was scanned from a photograph in the University’s historical photographic collection held by Cultural Collections at the University of Newcastle, NSW, Australia.

John Hunter: Aerial view of the John Hunter Hospital during its construction, New Lambton, Australia.This image was scanned from a photograph in the University’s historical photographic collection held by Cultural Collections at the University of Newcastle, NSW, Australia.

John Hunter: Sue Johnson with an unidentified nursing student at John Hunter Hospital, the University of Newcastle, Australia – 1992.This image was scanned from a film negative housed in the University’s historical photographic collection held by Cultural Collections at the University of Newcastle, NSW, Australia.

Cake ‘goodbye RNH, hello JHH’, Royal Newcastle Hospital. [n.d.] From: Outpatients – black album, Royal Newcastle Hospital. ColourThis photograph is from the Hospital archives held by the University Archives in Cultural Collections, Auchmuty Library, the University of Newcastle, Australia.

Rankin Park Unit of the Royal Newcastle Hospital, located on the site of the present John Hunter Hospital (n.d.) This photograph is from the Hospital archives held by the University Archives in Cultural Collections, Auchmuty Library, the University of Newcastle, Australia.

Archery at the Rankin Park Unit of the Royal Newcastle Hospital c.1950-1960’s The Rankin Park Unit is located on the site of the present John Hunter Hospital. This photograph is from the Hospital archives held by the University Archives in Cultural Collections, Auchmuty Library, the University of Newcastle, Australia.

Nursing students on training placement at John Hunter Hospital with nursing lecturer, Sue Johnson, the University of Newcastle, Australia – 1992

Unidentified nurse playing mini golf on the grounds of the Rankin Park Unit of the Royal Newcastle Hospital c.1950-1960’s The Rankin Park Unit is located on the site of the present John Hunter Hospital. This photograph is from the Hospital archives held by the University Archives in Cultural Collections, Auchmuty Library, the University of Newcastle, Australia.

TweetFacebook Take a look through the archivesThe photographs are from the Hospital archives held by the University Archives in Cultural Collections, Auchmuty Library, the University of Newcastle, Australia.NEWCASTLE’S achievements in health care during the past 200 years aresomething to be remembered andcelebrated, as history shows theHunter’s medical fraternityto be a down-to-earth but determined bunch,Dr Ross Kerridge says.

The Hunter Postgraduate Medical Institute will host a publicevent at HMRI on Saturday tomark the 200thanniversary of the first hospital opening in Newcastle.

Event convenor Dr Kerridge said while there had been many changes in the past 200 years,such as the closing of the old Royal Hospital on Newcastle beach, the region’s health care was not defined by buildings, bricks or location, but by “people, commitment, and a sense of vocation.”

“It is easy to focus on the negative things,” he said.

“But I think we should concentrate on celebrating all that we have achieved, and are continuing to achieve.

“The buildings may move around, but we’ve got an ongoing tradition of healthcare and hospitals in Newcastle that has its own particular flavour of being based in the community, not taking itself too seriously, of being hard-working and getting on with it – and making do with less resources than people in Sydney have, and that’s an ongoing thing – it’s been there for 200 years, and it’s going to continue for another 200 years.”

Throughout Saturday’s event, the general public would learn about the history of health care in the region, such as battle to get the John Hunter Hospital established.

“There was a huge political fight, and they had to fight,” Dr Kerridge said.

“The waterside workers threatened to blockade all the ports of NSW unless Neville Wran agreed to fund John Hunter Hospital.

“That would have been in the early 1980s.

“Essentially, they had the old Royal, the Mater, and the Western Suburbs Hospital at Waratah,which was a tin shed, and Wallsend –and they were bursting at the seams. But the government in Sydney was still reluctant to cough up the money, and hello, we’re hearing the same thing again about Maitland.

“They are not going to cough up the money easily. You can’t just say we want our fair share, no. You have to fight for it.”

Event-goers would also learn how Newcastle became known as the “Bex capital of the world,”and how our penchantfor “a cup of tea, a Bex and a good lie down” contributed to the opening of a renal department from the subsequent kidney damage.

There will bestories about the Newcastle Medical School, the Hunter medicos who worked on the Burma Railway, and why Newcastle is a good place to have a stroke.

The free event is on at the HMRI building on November 11. Registration from 8.20am.

Find out more.

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