Garrison hospital Palembang

The garrison hospital 3rd class  at Palembang (South Sumatra) is mentioned in the publication of D. Schoute “De Geneeskunde in Nederlandsch-Indie in de 19e eeuw”, GTNI 75 (1935) 10, 827. The article refers to a survey of  all the military facilities in 1867 . In that year the garrison  hospital of Palembang had on average 60 inpatients. The hospital was part of the Military Medical Service (MGD),  which in 1867 (the year of the survey of all military facilities) managed a total of 79 facilities (3 large military hospitals, 35 garrison hospitals and 41 infirmaries) with on average 4,244 occupied beds.

Some 25 years later, the Annex D of the Koloniaal Verslag 1890 reports a total  of 3,358 inpatients by the end of that year, whereas 52,631 patients have been admitted for the whole of the Netherlands Indies. The report concerns 28 military hospitals, 54 ziekenzalen (infirmaries) and 6 specialized facilities. The average occupation rate of the Palembang hospital is then 24 inpatients, whereas 613 have been admitted that year. The situation by the end of the year 1890 is a presence of 22 patients.

In 1900 the situation of military health facilities was: 30 hospitals, 56 infirmaries and 5 specialized facilities, such as reconvalescent centers and leprosy asylums. The total number of admittances was in 1899: 57,071 and the number of present inpatients by the end of 1899: 3,731. These figures were for the Palembang hospital: 437 admittances and a presence on 31 December 1899 of 15 patients (See Koloniaal Verslag 1900, Addendum A).

The directing officer of health W. van der Veer published an article about the history of the Military Medical Service over the period 1911-1935 (GTNI, 76 (1936) 202-234) and mentions the measures to cut down expenditure by downgrading hospitals to infirmaries. This happens to the Hospital of Palembang in 1934: it is turned into an infirmary. In  GTNI 81 (1941) 10, 502: On 13 November 1940 a meeting is organized to revive this department of the Association to further Medical Science in NI.

Palembang is the capital of the Residency Palembang, which is divided into three departments Palembang Upperlands and Palembang Downstream and Ogan and Komering-Hoeloe. The capital Palembang is not situated on the seaside, but 83 km inland and built on both sides of the river Moesi. It has 109,000 inhabitants, of whom 1,900 Europeans and 15,800 Chinese. It is the largest city of the Outer Provinces. It has a municipal council, chaired by a mayor. It is the seat of the Resident and of the regional military commander. Downstream are the oil establishments of the BPM Pladjoe and of the Koninklijke Nederlandsche Petroleummaatschappij Soengaiseroeng and also the leprosy facility Koendoer (Gonggryp 1934, 1103-1119).