The Royal Children’s Orthopaedic Hospital at Mt Eliza was a crucial place of care for over forty years, where treatment and rehabilitation was provided to patients suffering from crippling childhood diseases such as polio and tuberculosis.

Thanks to specialised knowledge of these diseases and the introduction of vaccinations, occupancy of beds at the orthopaedic hospital fell to less than 60 per cent by 1971. The hospital and its extensive grounds could no longer be sustainably maintained. Providing inpatient specialist care to these children was financially strenuous and no longer the only option for these children as development of in-home care and support kept patients with their families. As a result of these developments, the remaining patients were transferred to The Royal Children’s Hospital main campus in Parkville.

This silent film captures the final days of this transition, overseen by Medical Superintendent Dr G. Keys Smith, Matron Mrs M. Griggs, and staff. A gathering of former patients to commemorate the site is also witnessed.

Related films:

Christmas Festivities, A Healing Tide, Uncle Bobs Club, Final Days at the Mt Eliza Orthopaedic Hospital.

Film Title: Final Days at the Mt Eliza Orthopaedic Section
Production Date: 1971
Location: The Children’s Orthopaedic Hospital; Mt Eliza, Victoria
Media: 16mm colour film, silent
Measurement: 8.07 minutes
Maker: The Royal Children’s Hospital; Carlton, Victoria
Rights: Film courtesy of The Royal Children’s Hospital
Accession Number: 2018.2483

This film may have been edited to comply with privacy laws and ethics guidelines.
Any opinions, social attitudes and medical advice contained in this film reflect the society and medical practice accepted at the time the film was made. Attitudes, community standards, and medical opinions change over time with societal and medical advances. Please view this film with a historical perspective in mind, and be aware that any opinions, attitudes, and advice depicted are no longer representative of The Royal Children’s Hospital.