The prominent Yangon General Hospital in the heart of downtown Yangon today received a commemorative Yangon City Heritage Blue Plaque. This Blue Plaque marked 19th plaque of the Yangon Heritage Trust.
The city’s first General Hospital, located across the street at the site of Junction City Complex, had become too cramped for the number of patients it was treating, and thus by the early 1890s, the present site of Yangon General Hospital, which was then Agri-Horticultural Gardens and a Phayre Museum, had been scouted for relocation.
With plans draw up by Henry Hoyne-Fox, Executive Engineer of the Public Works Department, the main building was built in 1904 and completed in 1909, and fitted with all the latest modern medical improvement at that time, including operating theatres with electricity and anesthesia rooms. In the following year, the administrative block and other structures such as the Matron’s accommodation and the morgue was added and cost four million rupees overall. In 1911, the new and larger hospital opened its doors for the first time with a total of 342 beds. It also housed the country’s first bacteriological laboratory, though which several contributions to global medical science were made during the early 20th century.
During the Japanese Occupation, the Imperial Japanese Army occupied the building and reserved them for Japanese personnel and the General Hospital had to temporarily relocate to the former Diocesan Girls’ School on Signal Pagoda Road. After the World War II, the hospital’s capacity was expended to hold 546 beds and in 1962, the total capacity increased to 1500 patients.
Additionally, Rangoon General Hospital played a huge part in Myanmar’s contemporary history, witnessing some of the pivotal moments in the history of the city. The hospital was also the site where the former opposition leader and Noble laureate Aung San Suu Kyi made her first public speech on August 24, 1988.