Psychiatric Nursing Home Padang

In order to reorganize the mental health care in the NI, two new types of psychiatric facilities were introduced in the 1920s:

  • the psychiatric nursing home (Psychiatrisch verpleegtehuis) for long-stay patients. The health statistics of 1938 mention 6 psychiatric nursing homes (Palembang, Padang, Bandjermasin, Manado, Bangli and Soekolilo).
  • the psychiatric passage home (Psychiatrisch doorgangshuis) for the treatment of acute cases for up to six months.
    The health statistics of 1937 mention 6 ‘doorgangshuizen’ (Batavia (Grogol), Semarang (Tawang), Soerakarta (Mangoendjajan), Soerabaya (Pegirian), Medan (Gloegoer) and Makassar).
    See for a discussion on the organization of psychiatric healthcare in the Netherlands Indies the 1937 editions of the Geneeskundig Tijdschrift voor Nederlandsch-Indie (GTNI). Three authors (P.M. van Wulfften Palthe, J.C. van Andel and W.F. Theunissen) discuss the merites of the chosen system of 4 very large and expensive main hospitals and 12 secondary institutions. Van Wulfften Palthe (speaking as head of a psychiatric department of a central civil government hospital) and the directors of the large psychiatric hospitals have totally different points of view: vWP emphasizes that the present system is far too expensive and leads to continuance of the practice of keeping most psychiatric patients in prisons, as there is no place in the psychiatric institutions themselves.
    vWP argues that the present system ends in shoddy work. Hardly a home is established at Makassar (that in due course is completely crowded) or Bali wants its own institute and Sumatra’s Eastcoast cannot stay behind. “it looks as if we empty the ocean with a tea-spoon.”

According to the Koloniaal Verslag 1926, the psychiatric nursing home Padang was opened in the course of 1925. The staff and its renumeration was arranged by
Government Decision no. 17 of 21st May 1925 (Indisch Staatsblad no.227):

  1. One first class nurse with psychiatry qualification;
  2. Two mantri-nurses with free lodging;
  3. Eight ‘oppassers’ (male attendants) with a maximum monthly pay of ƒ 25, including free lodging;
  4. Maintenance, inventory and other expenditure: ƒ 700 per year.

According Mededeelingen Dienst Volksgezondheid XXVIII (1939) the normal capacity of the Nursing Home Padang was 65 beds and the real number of occupied beds ultimo 1937 was 122 beds.

In 1932 in Padang there were two shelters for the mentally ill. The first location behind the House. The Army Hospital in Parak Pisang (Now Reksodiwiryo Army Hospital) is referred to as “Doorganghuis voor Krankzinnigen”, and it is part of Militaire Hospital and the second location in the current RSJ, known as the Ulu Gadut Djiwa Hospital Colony (KOSD). In Ulu Gadut, mentally ill people carry out agricultural activities (rice fields, fields and plantations). After it was inaugurated in 1932 it was called the Parak Pisang Mental Hospital, and Ulu Gadut was the place for the Djiwa Hospital Colony. During the 1945 Revolution, there was a complete displacement of mentally ill people from Parak Pisang to KOSD Ulu Gadut because the situation was getting increasingly unsafe. joined RSU Sawah Lunto (Head of the Hospital at that time Dr. H. Hasan Basri Sa`anin Dt. Tan Pariaman) then named Mental Hospital Hospital (RPSD). In 1954, the wards were rebuilt and renovated at Ulu Gadut and the patients were gradually returned, and the KOSD was renamed the Ulu Gadut Mental Hospital. Since 1961 its status was changed to the Ulu Gadut Padang Mental Hospital (capacity 110 beds) and ended until 2000. Based on the letter of the Minister of Health-Kesos RI No. 1735 / Menkes-Kesos / 2000 dated 12 December 2000 regarding the Transfer of UPT where the ownership of Prof. Mental Hospital Dr.HB.Sa`anin Padang is under the regional government of West Sumatra Province. In carrying out the duties and activities of RSJ, it refers to the West Sumatra Provincial Regulation Number 7 of 2010 concerning the Organization and Work Procedure of Prof. Mental Hospital. HB. Saanin Padangdan and West Sumatra Governor Regulation No. 6 of 2011 concerning Details of Main Duties, Functions and Administration of Prof. Mental Hospital. HB. Saanin Padang. And West Sumatra Governor Regulation Number: 440-538-2011.

We may conclude from this bureaucratic jargon that the Reksodiwiryo Army Hospital is the successor of the Padang Nursing Home and that there was an agricultural institution, called Ulu Gadut Djiwa Hospital Colony (KOSD) that resembled the Landbouwkolony Lenteng Agoeng (near Buitenzorg). The successor to the Padang Nursing home was later named the Parak Pisang Mental Hospital and nowadays the Rumah Sakit Jiwa Prof.Dr. H.B. Saanin. See for more information the website of this hospital: