Ballarat hospitals

Image Ballarat Hospital late 1860s - A Hyslop

BALLARAT HOSPITAL began as the MINERS’ HOSPITAL until the name change in 1860. It is located on the corner of Sturt and Drummond Streets and administered by Ballarat Health Services.

Ballarat Hospital Records

These have been transcribed and an index is available on microfiche at the Eureka Centre, Ballarat East. When this was compiled it was deemed inappropriate to record the cause of admission. So while valuable information can be obtained, such as birthplace and how many years in Victoria, the medical complaint will not be mentioned. Once you have obtained the admission date you might find a report in the local newspapers. Some examples are below.

Ballarat Base Hospital Admissions Register 1857-1913 (on microfiche)

Name, Age, Address, Married or Single, Occupation, Religion, Admitted, Discharged, Relieved/Convalescent/Dead, Birthplace, Yrs in Victoria, Recommender.
A recommender might be a doctor or an employer. The abbreviation TCBE is for Town Council of Ballarat East. Sometimes it has the mayor's name as a guarantor that the patient's bill would be paid. Sometimes an employer can be identified in this index.

The Ballarat Courier Saturday 9 October 1897

The following were treated at the Hospital yesterday:- Alice Rogers, Bridge street, crushed fingers, caused through being caught in the rollers of a mangling machine; Rees Jenkins, Latrobe street, lacerated wounds on the hand, caused by several lumps of reef falling on him; Alfred Davis, Raglan street, incised wound on finger, caused by tripping and falling on a piece of glass; William Timms, Cardigan, scalp wound, caused through being thrown out of a cart; Henry Girdwood, Doveton street, wound on the head, caused by falling into an engine pit at the Phoenix Foundry; and Robert McKay, Main road, strain of the muscles, caused while lifting a heavy weight at the North Woah Hawp mine.

The Ballarat Courier Monday 11 October 1897

The following were treated at the Hospital on Saturday and yesterday:- Isabella White, Hunt street, dislocated elbow, caused by a fall while at play; Norman McVitty, Service street, lacerated finger, caused through being caught in the wheels of a chaffcutting machine.

The Ballarat Courier Tuesday 12 October 1897

Clarence Smith, aged two years, who resides with his parents in Havelock street, was treated at the Hospital yesterday for a broken arm. The injury was caused through the little fellow falling from a chair on which he was standing.

Joseph Francis Carroll, the young man who escaped from the Hospital several weeks back while suffering from dementia, and who jumped from the parapet of the bridge crossing the railway line at Queen street, breaking his thigh and wrist, remains in bed in the accident ward at the Hospital. Carroll's mental condition shows very little improvement, and at times he is very unruly and difficult to manage. It will be some weeks before he will be well enough to be removed from the Hospital.

Recommended reading

Goldrush Doctors at Ballarat by Keith Macrae Bowden, 1977. AR 610.92

Sovereign Remedies A history of Ballarat Base Hospital 1850s to 1890s, HYSLOP Anthea, Allen & Unwin, Sydney

The Star, Ballarat, Saturday 19th July 1856, Page 1, Column 4
MEDICAL - A CORRECT LIST of the legally qualified Medical Practioners and Members of the Ballarat Medico-Chirurgical Society, residing and practising in the district of Ballarat: (30 listed) By order James Stewart, Honorary Secretary.

Ballarat Mental Asylum

Ballarat Reformatory before 1893 - Max Harris photo

Ballarat Reformatory before 1893 - Max Harris photo

After ten years of operation (1869-1879) the Ballarat Industrial School building in Gillies Street became the Reformatory for Boys for another 14 years. It was the same double-storey brick building which reopened on the existing site in 1893 as the Ballarat Asylum to house the mentally ill. The first patient from the Ararat Asylum was received in May of that year. In the next few months further admissions from Kew, Yarra Bend and Ararat added to the patient list so that by the end of May 1893 the Asylum housed 211 patients, 125 males and 86 females. It became known as the Ballarat Mental Hospital then in 1969 as Lakeside Hospital because it is a short walk through the Botanical Gardens to the foreshore of Lake Wendouree. In the 1990s the hospital land was subdivided for a housing estate known as Lake Gardens. The original main building still exists in the centre of the development.

The Ballarat Mental Asylum 1893-1997 from opening to closure by Rod Sharp, 2013. Available in the Australiana Australiana Research Collection Room at the Eureka Centre.

The Public Record Office of Victoria has extensive records from all Victorian institutions relating to mental health in their Online Resources. We have obtained examples of register entries relating to patients and a most interesting warrant dated 27 October 1879 for the transfer of 124 male inmates from Ballarat to the newly built institution at Sunbury. [VPRS 8259/P1/1] For patients who died in mental hospitals an inquest was usually held and our research team is able to provide digitised copies from the PROV at North Melbourne. Please make requests via the Research page.

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