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The old Tocumwal Hospital

11/02/2017

The Tocumwal Hospital was first made possible by generous donations from the Lang Family who lived at Pine Lodge from 1892. Mr HW Tuck Snr’s residence was purchased in 1948 and was converted to a hospital and nurses home. At that time the hospital was owned and maintained entirely by the town and had six beds under the supervision of the three trained nurses and four other staff.

On 10 April 1950 a disastrous fire occurred and although some equipment was saved, the hospital was almost a total loss. As soon as the extent of the damage was known, the Committee called a public meeting and it was decided to at once commence raising funds for the erection of a new hospital. After some inevitable delay a surplus building was purchased from Disposals and moved on to the old site, alterations were commenced but eventually rising costs, and lack of finance, forced a discontinuance of the work.

An appeal was made to the Hospital Commission to take over the completion of the building, and after many alterations and extensions to the original rather modest plans, a start was made and the hospital, and nurses home, was completed in January 1956 at a total cost of approximately £38,000. The new hospital was officially opened on 1 February 1956 however the committee continued to extend the facilities with a cool room, auxiliary power plant and extensive theatre equipment.

According to the Presidents Report of the first year’s operations the Hospital had ten beds available for medical and surgical cases, four for maternity, two verandah beds, three cots and five bassinettes. In their first year 462 patients were treated for an average of nine days each, the maximum number of patients at any one time being 23.

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