Royal Prince Alfred Hospital Institute of Academic Surgery

Hospitals – Sydney

This portfolio Hospitals Sydney region contains drawings and paintings of some of Sydney’s historic and contemporary hospitals

The New South Wales Ministry of Health, a department of the New South Wales Government, is responsible for monitoring the performance of Hospitals Sydney in the public health system in New South Wales, particularly through public hospitals. The goals of the Ministry are to keep people healthy, provide the health care that people need, deliver high quality services, and manage health services well.

The provision or delivery of health services are delegated to fifteen local health districts who provide services in a wide range of settings, from primary care posts in the remote outback to metropolitan tertiary health centres. In addition, two specialist networks are focused on children’s and paediatric services, and forensic mental health, and a third network covers the delivery of public health services provided by three Sydney facilities operated by St Vincent’s and Mater Health.

NSW Health is responsible for managing and funding health services in a wide range of settings, from multi-purpose health centres in remote communities to large metropolitan teaching hospitals.

There are more than 220 public hospitals and health services in NSW which provide free health care to Australian citizens and permanent residents. Services provided at public hospitals may include emergency care, elective and emergency surgery, medical treatment, maternity services, and rehabilitation programs.

Some services require admission to hospital either as a day patient or overnight. Other services may be provided on an outpatient basis.

The mix of services offered by an individual hospital will vary according to both the size of the local population and the services offered by other hospitals in the area.

After the arrival of the First Fleet in 1788, six naval surgeons established the Colonial Medical Service. As Dr. Cummins states, “The Colonial surgeons serviced the Colony in an era wherein jealousies, frustrations and thwarted ambitions were resolved in vitriolic words and even with pistols”.