Victoria Hospital: 100 years

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Victoria Hospital: 100 years
Victoria Hospital: 100 years

Africa-Press – Mauritius. Yesterday there was a ceremony marking the 100th anniversary of the Victoria Hospital (VH), which was opened on July 6, 1922, converted from army barracks.

At that time, it was the largest and most modern hospital in the country that could accommodate about 240 patients, who came from both Plaines Wilhems and Black River districts.

Dr Lucien de Chazal, MD London was the Medical Superintendent and Dr P. de Chaumont the resident medical officer. VH had medical, surgical and obstetric wards, and later ENT and eye patients were also treated.

Inauguration of the Princess Margaret Orthopaedic Centre, better known as PMOC, in 1956, in the same compound as Victoria Hospital. Pic – Vintage Mauritius

It has now come a long way indeed, the bed capacity being now 956, and the range of services offered has expanded to respond to the changing disease profile that has been taking place since the early 1980s.

One of the first specialist services that was established in the country was Orthopaedics, with the inauguration of the Princess Margaret Orthopaedic Centre, better known as PMOC, in 1956, in the same compound as VH. Princess Margaret of the British Royal Family came over to do the inauguration.

When I was growing up in the 1950s, hardly anyone used the name Victoria Hospital: it was more commonly referred to as ‘L’Hopital Candos’ where it was situated, and interestingly, these three appellations – PMOC, L’Hopital Victoria and L’Hopital Candos – are still used interchangeably.

People don’t really make the distinction that PMOC is meant for treatment of orthopaedic problems, but that is not of material consequence as far as the patient is concerned.

Yesterday’s celebration programme comprised a video clip of the hospital with some pictures of the historical buildings as well as visuals of the latest modern services and equipments available, official discourses on the part of the Prime Minister and the Minister of Heath & Wellness, launching of a souvenir e-magazine, and award of shields to former medical and nursing staff of the hospital for their long and dedicated years of service there.

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