City Dressing Station Batavia



Stadsverband Batavia in Glodok quarter

After the Binnenhospitaal (City Hospital) had been closed in 1808 by Governor-General Daendels, the need to have a hospital inside the town bacame urgent. The “wounded and crrippled natives and Chinese, victims of revenge and rapacity, murderous attacks and by accidents ending upin such a state”  had till then no other place than the prison for a shelter. The Resident of Batavia, von Lawick von Pabst, applied for a small facility like a “stadsverband” that before had existed inside the Binnenhospitaal. Together with the City Surgeon, the Director Civil Buildings and the City Doctor a plan was designed. For the small amountof f 895,12 one of the barracks of the old Spice Mills was rebuilt and on the 20th September 1819this became the “Stadsverbandhuis”. Toeconomize, a mandoer (headman) was  charged with the supervision, later on to be replaced by a retired European military. The equipment was restricted to 30mats, 30 leather pillows, 12 tin goblets, 6 spittoons, 20 food troughs, one set of instruments foramputation, one trepan, 1 box of scalpels, 12 surgical needles, 6 lancets and 2 litters for carrying the sick or wounded.
Schoute reports that thus was the simple start of an institution that a century later was to become the Centrale Burgerlijke Zieken-inrichting (Central Civil Hospital) of the Netherlands East Indies. In 1842, a renovation took place after which the Stadsverband could admit 75 to 100 patients in 4 ample airy wards. The new building also housed a doctor’s room and a room for autopsy. During an inspection in 1842 there were 48 female and 15 male patients. In a separate ward women with venereal diseases were admitted.

Inspector Kiewiet de Jonge commented on the quality of the stadsverband in the year 1890:’The City Dressing Station at Batavia, situated in a place called Glodok,is an institution to which convicts, prostitutes, and tramps are taken by force. Nobody would dream to enter there out of free will. It is a miserable building of which the floors, made of smooth blue flagstones, are the onlygood thing about it. The remaining parts of the complex are made of bamboo and the place is overrun with wallbugs. The city doctor in charge feels so embarassed by the situation that he will never guide someone around in the building. Of course there will be improvements form time to time,but these measures cannot alter the fact that the hospital remains by far insufficient.’ As a result of his visit, the restoration of the Batavia City Dressing Station was announced. However, this decision was revised after some years and was reduced to having some buildings added to the comple in the same compound. It would take 25 year more, before the new building at Salemba was opened in November 1919.

The old stadsverband at Glodok was rebaptized into Hospital for contagious diseases. It remained in use for sick prisoners and for isolation of some contagious patients. After sometime (in 1923) it was converted into a psychiatric facility (Doorgangshuis).