THE original building of the Bega Hospital had two wooden wards which, after ten or more years, were suffering from the ravages of white ants, so brick wards were to be built to meet the requirements of the hospital for many years to come. In 1909 the second of the two brick wings was opened and a report of the opening was in the Bega Budget.
MR RITCHIE, the president, when opening the new wing said he would ask those attending to bear with him while he gave a short history of the Bega District Hospital since its very inception.
"It was only right that on an occasion like the present they should remember the men who were really responsible for the initiation of the movement for the establishment of a hospital in Bega.
Mrs Clark was the first matron, but a trained nurse was subsequently, appointed. In 1904 a new wing [now the male ward] was added, but before many years had passed the demands on the hospital were so great that the addition of another wing became an urgent necessity. That addition he had now the honour of opening, and he thought it spoke volumes for the generosity of the people that the institution was free of debt. For a long time there was a prejudice on the part of many people to entering a hospital for treatment, but he was glad to know that the splendid medical treatment and the kindness and expert attention of the nursing staff had been the means of popularising the institution."
Mr Thomas Atkinson congratulated the people on the opening of the new wing.
They were hampered for want of room, and he would like to see the old building at the back which serves as an isolation ward, removed, and something of a more up-to-date character substituted. The building was of wood, primitive, and so eaten with white ants that you could poke your finger through the walls almost anywhere. And the fences were also devoured by ants. He was sure the Bega district people would not be afraid of these urgent works. Mr C T Stiles was pleased to be present. His idea from the first was to obviate the necessity for people having to go to Sydney for medical treatment. The expense was very heavy and frequently people had to suffer because they could not afford the money. This was all changed now, and we had a medical staff equal to anything out of Sydney, and to him it was a gratification to see patients treated locally.
They had a noble nursing staff, and it was almost a pleasure to be sick under such circumstances.
The total complex for the Bega Hospital now comprised the main brick building, operating theatre connected by a walkway, laundry, nurses' quarters, morgue, isolation building and several minor outbuildings and extensions.