How did hospitals begin?

How did hospitals begin?
Highlights

The idea of hospitals is a new one in the history of man. The Greeks had no public institutions for the sick. Some of their doctors could carry on surgeries in a small room where only one patient could be treated at a time.

The idea of hospitals is a new one in the history of man. The Greeks had no public institutions for the sick. Some of their doctors could carry on surgeries in a small room where only one patient could be treated at a time.

The Romans established infirmaries to treat injured soldiers during war time. Later on, infirmaries were founded in larger cities and were supported out of public funds. Thus roman influence was responsible for establishment of hospitals. With the growth of Christianity, the care of the sick became the duty of the church. During the middle ages monasteries and convents provided most of the hospitals. Monks and nuns were the nurses.

The custom of making pilgrimages to religious shrines also helped advance the idea of hospitals. These pilgrimages were often long, and the travellers had to stop over night at small inns along the road. These inns were called “hospitalia”, or guest houses, from the Latin word “hospes” meaning “a guest”. The inns connected with the monasteries devoted themselves to caring for travelers who were ill or lame or weary. In this way the name “hospital” became connected with caring for the afflicted!

But it was not until the eighteenth century that public hospitals became general in the larger towns of England. Soon, the idea of public hospitals began to spread, and they appeared all over Europe. In North America, the first hospital was built by Cortes in Mexico City in 1524. Among the British colonies, the first hospital was established by the East India Company on Manhattan Island in 1663.

Show Full Article
Download The Hans India Android App or iOS App for the Latest update on your phone.
More Stories


Top