State of Tasmania
The Public Health Department was established in January 1904. Its purpose was to stop the outbreak of contagious diseases by taking control of sanitary works as well as preventing water pollution and the sale of contaminated food. The Public Health Department became the Department of Health Services in 1956.
The Public Health Department was established by the Public Health Act 1903 following an outbreak of smallpox in Launceston. It was located in the Chief Secretary's Office until 1934 when it acquired its own government Minister and expanded rapidly.
The Mental Deficiency Board and State Psychological Clinic, established by the Mental Deficiency Act of 1920, were associated with the Department.
In 1945, the Public Health Administration Act, also of 1945, created four Divisions of the Department. These were Public Health, Hospital and Medical Services, Mental Hygiene, and Tuberculosis.
In 1949, the Public Health Department took over the management of the Mothercraft Home from the Child Welfare Association.
The Department also ran St John's Park, and the Mental Diseases Hospital at New Norfolk, along with its successor, Lachlan Park Hospital.
1885 - 1903 Central Board of Health
1904 - 1956 Public Health Department
1956 - 1989 Department of Health Services
1989 - 1993 Department of Health
1993 - 1998 Department of Community and Health Services
1998 - Department of Health and Human Services
2018 - Department of Communities Tasmania
Sources used to compile this entry: Department of Public Health: report of the Secretary for the year ending 31 December 1946, Public Health Department, Hobart, 1947; Wettenhall, RL, A Guide to Tasmanian Government Administration, Platypus Publications, Hobart, 1968, 206 pp.
Prepared by: Caroline Evans
Created: 11 January 2013, Last modified: 18 March 2014