Indigenous hospital Sidoardjo (GBZ)

The physician J.H.F. Kohlbrugge (1865-1941), who had been assigned to Tosari (1892-1899) and went about to establish  a sanatorium in that town (1893),  founded in 1905 an indigenous hospital in his town of settlement Sidoardjo (Surabaya). It was financed by individual Europeans who thought to establish therewith a positive way to cooperate together with the Javanese people. This initiative was promoted after a clash with a religious priest and his supporters that caused many casualties.¹ At the time of establishment this was the only hospital for a region of 500,000 inhabitants. Dr. Kohlbrugge treated together with his assistants (Trained by himself) 6,000 – 8,000 patients per year. In the immediate surroundings of the hospital a garden was achieved with medical herbs. The doctor used these herbs with success and was very much in favour of indigenous medicine as used by dukuns and by the Indo-European hospital for Dwangarbeiders. The hospital was connected with a network of polyclinics. In a later stage it was handed over to the NI Government and became a so-called GBZ (Government Civil Hospital). Kohlbrugge was involved in the training of assistant doctors and the training of indigenous midwives.(NedTvGnk 83.II.21, 2502-1503, 17-5-1959).

The GBZ of Sidoardjo is mentioned in the Bijblad no. 11446 of the Staatsblad van Nederlandsch-Indië (Supplement on the NI Statutebook) of 30 August 1927.The Bijblad classifies this hospital as one that treats 3rd class and 4th class patients (resp. tariffs: ƒ 3 and ƒ 1.50 per day).


See for the location of the hospital the Heaading Maps, subheading Hospitals 1940.

In the 1930s Sidoardjo was a regency, district and subdistrict of the Residency Surabaya. The population was 429,000 inhabitants among whom 1,400 Europeans and 4,000 Chinese. The river Kali Brantas comes into sea in this Regency which has many irrigation works. Rice and sugar are the main cultures. There were 15 sugar factories. The principal town of Sidoardjo is situated at the railway. There is a Hindu monument: Tjandi Pari (Gonggryp 1934, 1296).






¹By the end of May 1904 the guru Kasan Mukmin caused religious troubles in the department Sidoardjo (Residency Surabaya). The troubles resulted in a clash with the military in which 70 men were killed.