Garrison hospital Bukittinggi


Military hospital Fort de Kock in 1880 (KITLV 3504)

The Garrison hospital 3rd class (max. 240 beds) at Bukittinggi (colonial name: Fort de Kock) was part of the Military Medical Service (MGD). It was mentioned in the publication of D. Schoute “De Geneeskunde in Nederlandsch-Indie in de 19e eeuw”, GTNI 75 (1935) 10, 826. The article referred to a survey of  all the military facilities in 1867 . In that year the garrison hospital at Fort de Kock had on average 42 inpatients. The Military Medical Service (MGD) had in that same year all over the archipelago an average of 4,244 inpatients. Some 25 year later, the Annex D of the Koloniaal Verslag 1890 reports a total  of 3,359 inpatients for the whole of the Netherlands Indies. The average occupation rate of the garriron hospital is then 213 Europeans and 374 indigenous patients, whereas 796 patients have been admitted that year. The situation on 31 December 1890 shows a strong decrease of patients: only 13 Europeans and 14 indigenous patients remain.

The directing Health Officer 2nd class, W. van der Veer reports about the MGD in the period 1911-1934 and mentions the transformation of a number of military hospitals into ziekenzalen (Infirmaries), among others this happens to the garrison hospital at Fort de Kock in 1934. The independant administrations of the hospitals had to be left and the simple administrations of infirmaries could be charged to the quartermasters of the garrisons. See: Geneeskundig Tijdschrift voor Nederlandsch-Indie (GTNI) 76 (1936), 202-234.

From van Kol, Uit onze Kolonien: “the military and in the meantime also civil hospital Fort de Kock is made up of semi-permanent buildings and is suitable in view of the building programs and the quality standards for medical carefor this kind of establishments, even in modern times. The bamboo walls seem too thin for the cold climate of Fort de Kock, but the cleanliness, order and efficient organization are remarkable.2llend.

Fort de Kock (Malaysian: Bukittinggi) was  in the 1930s the principal town of the department Agam, Residency Sumatra Westcoast. It is situated 900 m high and enjoys a agreeable, cool climate. The town has 15,000 inhabitants, of whom 600 Europeans. The town is situated on the main road Padang-Pakan Baroe (Eastcoast Sumatra) and on the railroad Padang-Limbanang (Gonggryp 1934, 309-310).