History of Hospitals

Recently my wife spent a little time in Hospital and on one occasion when visiting her I went past the old Baulkham Hills Private Hospital on Windsor Road. I say old but really it is not so very old as I can remember a time not so long ago when there were no hospitals in the Hills, Sure there was a hospital at Windsor to the North and Parramatta to the South. After the Westmead Hospital opened, Parramatta Hospital was eventually closed. In the Hills there was a campaign started to have a hospital built at Baulkham Hills and a privately operated hospital was built on Windsor road. I recently noticed a “For Sale” sign located out the front of the Baulkham Hills hospital. There was, however, once a hospital section at the old St. Michael’s Orphanage for Boys. Which was l3ocated where the current Baulkham Hills Private Hospital now stands.

The hospital at Parramatta was first established in 1818 and was known as “The Colonial Hospital” which later become the Parramatta Hospital and Jeffrey House in Marsden St, which was built in the 1940s became part of Parramatta Hospital.

In Windsor, the Hawkesbury Hospital was first built as barracks for convict workmen in 1820 and remains one of the oldest buildings in Australia. The barracks were converted to a convict hospital in 1823. The hospital remains on its original site.

Naturally there have also been a number of private hospitals specialising in various services and one that has been prominently in the news recently is “Willow Grove” in Phillip St Parramatta which was once a maternity hospital and is due for demolition by the NSW Government, which I believe will be a loss to the heritage of Parramatta which has seen much to little being done to preserve the districts local heritage.

In November 1978 Westmead Hospital was opened on the old Parramatta (Westmead) showground and after the opening of Westmead surgical operations at Parramatta were transferred to the new Westmead centre. Westmead has now become one of the major hospital zones within NSW with the opening in more recent years of the Children’s Hospital and also Westmead Private Hospital together with enlargement of the Westmead Public Hospital.

In recent times, the Hills district has seen medical or rather hospital facilities improved also. The “Norwest Private Hospital” at Bella Vista has been enlarged and caters for a large number of residents both within and outside the Hills district Another private hospital at the adjoining suburb of Norwest is the modern “Lakeview Private Hospital” which started its life as the “H.S.S. Hospital for Specialist Surgery”. Lakeview was established and owned by a group of medical professionals or surgeons and services residents of the Hills district and others.

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