RBWH 1502020-08-06T13:41:23+10:00

RBWH 150th celebration

In 2017, Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital celebrated 150 years of care.

As Queensland’s largest hospital RBWH has touched the lives of millions of Australians.

We are home to the very best life-saving treatment, world-first research and have trained generations of leading healthcare professionals.

We have grown from a handful of dedicated staff to a team of 6,000 doctors, nurses, allied health and administrative staff, proud to care for Queensland.

Did you know?

  • Our first patient arrived by horse and cart on 8 January 1867. The hospital’s official opening was in April.
  • More than 500,000 Queenslanders have been born at the Royal.
  • Our first star researcher was Dr Joseph Bancroft who, as Visiting Surgeon, discovered the cause of the tropical disease Filariasis in 1876. This aided successful settlement of Europeans in Brisbane and the far north.
  • Our first nurses graduated in 1888.
  • Our peak year for births was 1959, with almost 13,000 babies born. That was 90% of Queensland’s newborns that year.
  • In 1903 Eleanor Elizabeth Bourne was appointed the first female doctor by unanimous vote of the all-male committee.
  • To prepare for the threat of war coming to Brisbane, the hospital blackened windows, sandbagged perimeters and built bomb shelters after Darwin and Townsville were bombed in 1942.
  • Many staff joined the war effort in WWI and WWII. Understaffing at the hospital meant some patients slept on verandas, in corridors and even in cupboards.
  • RBWH is home to the country’s fastest growing neonatal milk bank. Since it opened in 2012, more than 1000 babies have been fed with life-saving donor milk.
  • Today our Burns Unit is regarded as the best in the country and has one of highest survival rates in the world.

Read more about the history of RBWH

Want to know more about the history of the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital? Follow MNHHS on Facebook and Twitter.

Visit the Museum of Nursing History at Building 19 – (Open Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays 11.00am–2.00pm).