Hospital marks 125 years of health care in the region
Palmerston North Hospital was opened on November 27 1893 and last week celebrated 125 years of providing health care to the community.
Pae Ora Ma¯ ori Health directorate and kauma¯ tua from Manawhenua Hauora welcomed guests with a po¯ whiri in the Garden of Tranquility where a ko¯ whai tree was planted and a plaque unveiled.
The guests included the Minister of Health Dr David Clark, Mayor Grant Smith, MidCentral DHB chairperson Dot McKinnon and current and former staff and board members.
Dr Clark said 125 years was an impressive milestone for the hospital, and an opportunity to celebrate the history and contributions of the staff.
“The hospital has achieved numerous milestones to be proud of since it opened in 1893.
“Just some of those key achievements include starting district nursing in 1914, obtaining its first x-ray equipment in 1931, opening a chapel in 1957 and starting the country’s first Coronary Care Unit in 1966.”
Ms McKinnon spoke of the hospital’s humble beginnings.
“The hospital had no electricity, only two doctors and three nurses, just four wards, and beds for 25 patients.
“It was a community affair — a hospital established by the people of the district for the district’s people.
“Its history is steeped in generous and committed individuals and organisations who have worked extraordinarily hard to make sure a first class hospital service is delivered every day of every year.
“Over the past 125 years the hospital and its services have changed out of sight, and the pace continues to gain more and more momentum. The hospital now has over 300 beds and 2500 staff.
“I salute those who have gone before in making this hospital great, and pay tribute to all who work in it today.
“Palmerston North Hospital is considerably bigger than it ever was, and we want to now embark on the next stage of upgrade to ensure it remains capable of meeting the community’s needs.”
Dr Clark said MidCentral DHB was innovative, progressive and inclusive and had led the way in clinical, operational and social fields, both nationally and internationally for New Zealand in many ways.
“I acknowledge the dedication and hard work that’s led to that.
“The generations of doctors, nurses, midwives, allied health workers and other health workers who have contributed over the last 125 years to those firsts and to the everyday care, quality care and services that are provided in our community.”
Kauma¯ tua pa¯ pa¯ Mick Maru blesses the hospital’s 125th anniversary plaque in the hospital’s Garden of Tranquility with Dr David Clark, MidCentral District Health Board chief executive Kathryn Cook and chairwoman Dot McKinnon.