Working together to provide care

St John of God Subiaco Hospital has been providing medical and surgical care since 1898. Working in partnership with doctors and surgeons, we continue to offer excellent care in line with advances in medical knowledge and technology.

14 Apr 2023

Black and white photograph of Theatre staff in 1968  

Theatre staff in 1968.

 St John of God Subiaco Hospital opened as a 30-bed surgical and medical hospital in 1898.

Perth doctors were eager to have their patients admitted to the new hospital, where they knew they would receive excellent nursing care.

The Sisters of St John of God and doctors had mutual respect for each other: the Sisters respected the special skills and knowledge of doctors and doctors respected the dedication, nursing skills and experience of the Sisters.

Sisters and doctors worked together to face outbreaks of disease, epidemics and pandemics. When the hospital opened, typhoid fever and other infectious diseases were as prevalent in Perth as they were on the goldfields.

The influenza epidemic in 1919, outbreaks of smallpox in the 1920s and 1930s, and the poliomyelitis epidemic of the 1930s to 1950s all impacted the hospital. 

Sisters of St John of God and doctors also worked together to ensure each hospital redevelopment improved surgical and medical facilities and equipment.

The first surgery was in a small brick building with a marble floor, next to the hospital wards. An “up to date” theatre and radiology department built circa 1915 provided diagnostic resources and improved surgical facilities.

The hospital had five theatres in the 1930s and eight in 1981. The number of theatres doubled with the completion of Subiaco Clinic in 1998. In keeping with advances in health care, Subiaco Clinic also featured a fully integrated day surgery unit.

We now have 31 theatres and procedure rooms across the hospital campus.

As we continue to embrace medical and technical innovations, we build on the foundations of excellent care established by the Sisters of St John of God.

When the hospital installed a Da Vinci robot in 2007, it was the first surgical robot in Western Australia. This enabled more radical and delicate surgeries, with less post-operative pain and quicker recovery times for patients. The Mako orthopaedic robot installed in 2015 was the first of its kind
in Australia.

More recently, Subiaco became the first private hospital in Western Australia to introduce an imaging system for spinal surgery.

You may be interested in