The Colonial Hospital, run by the Convict Department, opened in Liverpool Street, Hobart in 1820. It provided the headquarters of the medical establishment and hospital services to convicts. In 1860, responsibility for the Hospital was transferred to the newly established colonial government. The Colonial Hospital became the Hobart General Hospital.
Lachlan Macquarie, the Governor of New South Wales, ordered that the Colonial Hospital be built when he visited Van Diemen's Land in 1811. At the time, sick convicts were treated in tents, wooden huts or rented buildings along the Hobart Rivulet. The new building was two stories high and had four wards. It could accommodate 56 patients but at times took up to 70.
In 2014, the Royal Hobart Hospital is on the site of the Colonial Hospital.
Sources used to compile this entry: Norris, Cheryl, Time line: 1803-2008: development of nursing education and the Royal Hobart Hospital, Cheryl Norris, Hobart, 2010, 66 pp; Norris, Cheryl, In my day: a history of general nurse training at the Royal Hobart Hospital, 1803-1993, Cheryl Norris, Hobart, 2011, 302 pp; Rimmer, WG, Portrait of a hospital: the Royal Hobart, Royal Hobart Hospital, Hobart, 1981, 328 pp; Rimon, Wendy, 'The Royal Hobart Hospital', in The Companion to Tasmanian History, Centre for Tasmanian Historical Studies, 2005, http://www.utas.edu.au/library/companion_to_tasmanian_history/R/RHH.htm.
Prepared by: Caroline Evans
Created: 5 May 2014