This year Western Health is celebrating the 60th anniversary of Footscray Hospital, Footscray. The hospital was founded as a result of the drive and resourcefulness of local communities, and to this day remains an integral part of the communities it serves.
The communities which founded the hospital faced real challenges in achieving their goal. After fundraising and purchasing the site, the Charities’ Board refused permission to establish the hospital in 1924. Undeterred, the committee instead decided to build an Outpatients’ Clinic, Dispensary and Casualty Station to treat the needy and poor of Footscray, until in 1941, the Charities’ Board granted permission for a 30-bed community hospital.
However, it wasn’t long after the funds to build the hospital were raised, that the next hurdle cropped up. The war situation in 1942 resulted in the hospital being put on hold, until construction began in 1947. In 1953 the Footscray & District Hospital finally opened, after 34 years of hard work and commitment to the cause.