Fairfield Infectious Diseases Hospital - Site and Planning

Site and Planning

In the 1860s, the colony of Victoria was rife with diseases such as diphtheria, typhoid, small pox and scarlet fever. At the time, Melbourne had two general hospitals, Melbourne and Alfred and three specialist hospitals, Lying-In, Children's and Eye and Ear. These five hospitals were unable to cope with the annual bouts of infectious diseases which recurred frequently. The Colonial Government began discussing the idea of constructing a hospital to treat patients with infectious diseases. Two sites were considered, one at Yarra Bend and another further along Heidelberg Road. Yarra Bend was the preferred location however the local residents protested and the proposal was dropped.

Plans for an infectious diseases hospital were again considered in 1874 however no significant moves were made until 1897, the year of Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee. Queen Victoria had made it know that any funds raised to celebrate her Jubilee should be used to help the sick. By November 1897, £16 000 was raised by municipal levies. The government granted 15 acres (61,000 m2) of land at Yarra Bend, due north of the Yarra Bend Asylum. Tenders were listed in 1900 for the hospital's first buildings and construction was completed in 1901. Unfortunately all of the funds had been consumed by building the hospital and further money had to be sourced to furnish the buildings and employ staff.

Read more about this topic:  Fairfield Infectious Diseases Hospital

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