Infirmary Payakumbuh

The military 1st class infirmary at Payakumbuh (West 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 infirmary at Payakumbuh had on average 18 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 Payakumbuh infirmary is then 10 inpatients, whereas 129 have been admitted that year. The situation by the end of the year 1890 is a presence of  7 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 Payakumbuh infirmary: 73 admittances and a presence on 31 December 1899 of 18 patients (See Koloniaal Verslag 1900, Addendum A).

Pajakoemboeh is in the 1930s a subdepartment, district and subdistrict with a capital of the same name, which is at the same time the capital of the department L Koto of the Residency Westcoast Sumatra, ruled by and assistant-Resident. The subdepartment has 127,000 inhabitants, of whom 43 Europeans and 1,000 Chinese. Excellent by the beauty of its nature the chasms of Harau and Poetih. The landscape is very fertile with abundant rainfall and an agreeable climate. Well-known is the Pajakoemboeh-tobacco. The vulcanoes Goenoeng Malintang (2261 M) and the Goenoeng Sago (2080 M) are not active any more. The town is situated on the motorway from Padang via Padangpandjang, Fort de Kock to Pakanbaroe on the Eastcoast of Sumatra and on the railroad Padang-Limbanang. The town has a very busymarket, coming second after Fortde Kock and is well-known because of its breeding station for horses (Gonggryp 1934, 1098- 1101).