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History of  Estcourt hospital

A tented Military hospital roughly on the site of the present High School was erected in the late 1899 during the Anglo-Boer War and moved as the fighting moved. Dr’s. Brewitt Senior and Junior conducted minor hospital services for some years with Grey’s being the main place of referral. The Augustinian Order built a G.P. Hospital in 1922, which carried on (under the Province for it’s last 4 years) until 1972.

With the great population explosion during the 1940’s & 50’s, the Province began to take responsibility for hospitalization in the area and in 1958 began what is now the North Wing of the Provincial Hospital. The initial Core Block was what is now the O.P.D., Duty Room, Minor O.T., etc and also what was until 1998, the Maternity Ward.

During the next 10 years, 4 Wards were built and an O.T. Block, a block which is now the Laboratory and a kitchen (later demolished) plus a linen room. During the early 1970’s C.S.S.D., Pharmacy, extension to O.P.D., a waiting room, a large stores building, a new boiler house and the front office block were all erected by 1975.

At the same time the Province decided that the old “SAN” was too costly to maintain and tried as an experiment to build a semi-prefabricated “Private Wing”. This is now the South Wing and the base for a Master Plan adopted in 1995 to redevelop for all patient care, the first steps of which have already begun by moving Maternity to it. Ward 6 was added in 1983 and not used until 1997 (in all 60 unused beds were built in 2 wards for which no funds were available to staff until the last 5 years).

Nurse’s accommodation was in part appalling until a new Nurses Home was opened in the early 1990’s. A P.H.C. clinic prefab was erected in 1981 and moved to a permanent site in 1999. During the period roughly 1980 to date, immense advances have been made mainly in a steady growth of fixed & mobile P.H.C. Clinics. The Hospital has become a more rational base and when the Master Plan is completed, should be an excellent Community Hospital with facilities for future Specialist activity.

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