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Finley Hospital

04/06/2016

The first hospital at Finley was privately built and administered. In the Finley Mail of 15th January 1915 it was noted that Messrs O’Callaghan Bros. of Deniliquin secured a block of land on the corner of Murray Street and the Berrigan Road on which they erected a private hospital. This building was erected to enable two sisters, the Misses ...Russell, who were trained to operate a private hospital and this venture was eminently successful. However the service closed down in August 1919.

“An attempt was made to retain this nursing facility, as twenty citizens pledged the necessary funds to pay the rent until another Sister could be installed, however this was not successful. The next few years witnessed a succession of private nursing hospitals, in premises often ill designed for the purpose yet fulfilling an urgent need. Then World War I revolutionised the motor industry to the stage where the sick could be transported to hospitals at a distance and interest in a local hospital sank to a low ebb.

“The Finley Mail of 22nd November 1927 contains a report of the formation of a branch of the Bush Nursing Association of Finley, and perhaps one of the highlights of this report was the scale of fees to be charged for financial members when the service was in operation… Obstetrics cases (10 days) $6.30, nursing per day 60 cents, consultation 25 cents, First visits 30 cents and subsequent visits 15 cents.”

In May 1934 a public meeting authorised the committee to call tenders. The site for the new hospital on the corner of Murray and Tuppal Streets was donated by Mr S Howe and a generous offer from Mr JT Close was gladly accepted to build the hospital without profit, supplying all the materials at cost. The Finley Mail of 4th February 1935 carried headlines ‘New Hospital Opened’”

By 1939 it was evident that a larger hospital was required but the project was put on hold with the eruption of World War II. In 1953 the need for an X-ray unit was identified and Arthur Koschel indicated he would donate $100 if 49 other citizens or groups would do the same. This was far surpassed and plans for a new hospital were again considered, but it wasn’t until 1961 that a tender was approved for a new hospital, to be located in Dawe Avenue, at $422,000 by ARP Crowe and Sons.

Information sourced from "Looking Back on Finley" by Norman McAllister and photos sourced from State Library of NSW.


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