Newspaper article Tweed Daily News (Tweed Heads, Australia)

Changing Role of Mur-Bah Hospital

Newspaper article Tweed Daily News (Tweed Heads, Australia)

Changing Role of Mur-Bah Hospital

Article excerpt

Byline: DI MILLAR

THE seemingly insurmountable problems facing Murwillumbah District Hospital and particularly the hospital's maternity services are a far cry from the days when the hospital was an integral part of the Tweed community.

Originally called the Tweed Cottage Hospital when the first patient was admitted in June 1904 and renamed Tweed District Hospital in March 1910, it became Murwillumbah District Hospital after the opening of Tweed Heads District Hospital in 1972.

Tweed District Hospital was associated with nurse education in New South Wales and trained generations of dedicated nurses who cared for the local residents.

When the new 50,000-pound Tweed District Hospital opened in August 1939 it was said that another chapter in the history of the Tweed progress was written.

In declaring the hospital officially open Mr A E Budd MLA repeated the words that hospital committee chairman Mr W R Isaacs used when laying the foundation stone of the first hospital: "This stone is laid in the hope that the hospital may ever be a blessing to the sick and the suffering and ever receive the liberal support of the people of the Tweed District".

The closure of Murwillumbah's Sunnyside Private Hospital in 1949 was a severe blow to the local community and Tweed District Hospital's board of directors faced the possibility that the hospital could not cope with the overflow of patients.

During Sunnyside Private Hospital's 44 years of operation more than 6000 babies had been born there under the supervision of Matron A I Bowman. Most of the district's babies now drew their first breath at Tweed District Hospital.

After the closure of the Border Private Hospital at Bilinga in 1953 more patients from the Twin Towns were treated at Tweed District Hospital.

In January 1950 the Tweed Heads and Coolangatta Women's Auxiliary, affiliated with the Tweed District Hospital, was inaugurated and the ladies quickly joined the Tweed Heads and Coolangatta Hospital Movement Committee in pushing for a hospital at Tweed Heads.

Patience was needed because construction of a hospital on Greenbank Island did not commence until 1971 but, finally, in December 1972 the Tweed Heads District Hospital's first stage was officially opened. …

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