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Photographs supplied by Paul Scott

The plaque commemorates the doctors and nurses who served in the Casualty Hospital, and the public that supported it.

The first Casualty Hospital operated in Port Adelaide from 1862 to 1884 and the second hospital operated from 1884 to 1984. 

After Port Adelaide was incorporated in 1855, plans for a single-ward hospital were finalised in 1859 but the South Australian government withdrew support. The argument that Port Adelaide’s sick and injured were well served by Adelaide Hospital (“less than one hour away”), expanded in 1856, was contentious for decades.

Port Adelaide’s population had passed 4000 when more pressure in 1861 finally gave it a hospital: a single-room cottage behind the new police barracks and the grand new government building at the St Vincent Street-Commercial Road corner. Dr Handayside Duncan, assistant colonial surgeon and health officer, was appointed Port Adelaide’s first medical officer at a salary of £50 and a house in St Vincent Street.

The new Port Adelaide Casualty Hospital could only to treat trauma cases; illness or infection cases were sent to Adelaide by train. Since the hospital had only one room, no female patients were admitted. A bigger casualty hospital was gained in 1884 when it had 88 “indoor patients” (admitted at least one night) and about 50 who could sit on the benches outside while waiting for the doctor. Of those 138 patients, the doctors treated 16 broken legs, seven broken arms and 15 concussions. Fifteen amputations were performed (with no dedicated surgical theatre) and six deaths reported.



Address:32 Nile Street, Anglicare, Port Adelaide, 5015
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -34.843874
Long: 138.504283
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Plaque
Monument Theme:Culture


Front Inscription

Casualty Hospital

Dedicated to the pioneer doctors and nurses who served and the pioneers who supported it

The Port

Source: MA,PS
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au
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