The population of Ipoh had increased rapidly due to the mining industry and in 1901 the population of Ipoh had reached 12,791 persons. The authorities were concerned about the healthcare of the people and established hospitals throughout Perak. The mining community in particular felt that a maternity hospital to deliver babies from amongst the poor and the working class was an essential requirement.
In 1904, under the guidance of Mr. William Cowan – the protector of the community; Dr. R.M. Connolly – the respected District Surgeon in Ipoh, and community leaders Mr. Foo Choo Choon and Mr. Leong Fee; the Perak Chinese Maternity Hospital was established.
The hospital was established as a charitable organisation and the objective of the founders were to provide free and good services to the working class and the poor. It was first located in Chamberlain Road and consisted of a six-bedded maternity hospital housed in a wooden bungalow. The site was donated by Mr. Cheah Cheang Lim, J.P.
In 1937, Dato’ Dr. Khong Kam Tak, who was then the Medical Superintendent, with the support of the public and non-governmental organisations managed to raise funds to start construction of a building at the present site of the hospital along Jalan Kampar to house the Perak Chinese Maternity Hospital.
A total of Malayan Dollars 135,300 was raised from the public for the construction of the 4 storey hospital building. The 7 acres of land was donated by the estate of the late Mr. Foo Nyit Tse, Mr. Foo Choong Yit J.P., and Mr. Chang Chong Siew.
In 1939, the construction of the new hospital building was completed. On 7th October 1939, the hospital was officially opened by the High Commissioner for the Malay States, Sir Thomas Shenton Whitelegge Thomas, G.C.M.G., O.B.E..
On 15th December 1941, the first wave of Japanese planes bombed Ipoh. In 1942, the Japanese entered Ipoh and occupied key strategic buildings to set up military administrative centres for the Japanese Army.
The Perak Chinese Maternity Hospital was forced to vacate its newly constructed building to allow the Japanese Army to use part of it as their headquarters. The deliveries of babies continued under the administration of the Japanese Army and a record of their births was kept from 11th December 1942 (written as 11.12.2602 in the Japanese calendar). The last recorded entry using the Japanese calendar was 10.9.2605 (10th September 1945) and there were 528 deliveries during this period.
In the meantime, the Perak Chinese Maternity Hospital moved back to its previous location in Chamberlain Road where it established a 20 bed maternity hospital with one labour room. The hospital operated with only two qualified midwives and a matron. The hospital was also supported by a group of voluntary visiting doctors.
After the surrender of the Japanese Army, the hospital was leased for a monthly payment of Malayan Dollars 900 to the British Military Administration to be partly used as their headquarters. The delivery of babies continued in these premises and there were 1,138 deliveries during the period from 13th September 1945 till 30th July 1949.
While the hospital building was being occupied by the British Military Administration, all British Air Force aircraft used either Jalan Kampar or the Racecourse as a taxiway because the Ipoh Aerodrome was damaged. These temporary taxiways were narrow and often resulting in aircraft needing to be pulled out of the adjacent mud by an elephant.
The captured enemy aircraft such as the Japanese Showa L2D, Mitsubishi A6M Zero, Mitsubishi GM4 Betsy and the German Henschel – 128 were parked in the hospital compound. The British Military Administration returned the hospital building on 30th July 1949 and thereafter the Perak Chinese Maternity Hospital resumed operations in these premises.
In 1964, a well-known movie tycoon Tan Sri Runme Shaw contributed Malayan Dollars 113,000 while the public contributed Malayan Dollars 35,648 towards the construction of a new building and installation of a new elevator.
The hospital had operated solely as a Maternity Hospital till the mid – 1960’s. After the completion of the construction of Tan Sri Runme Shaw building in 1968, the hospital decided to include more medical disciplines. An operation theatre was commissioned with the donation of an operating table, anaesthesia machine, suction unit and trolley by the Rotary Club of Ipoh.
In 1969, the hospital was constrained to withdraw the “FREE” medical services to the public and started charging patients for medical services due to rising cost and discontinuation of the government grant.
In 2003, the hospital met the required standards of ISO 9001:2000 Quality Management Systems and was certified as an ISO 9001:2000 hospital.
The same year saw the historical name change. Perak Chinese Maternity Hospital became Perak Community Specialist Hospital in order to reflect the hospital’s evolution into a multi-disciplinary hospital serving the needs of all communities of the state of Perak Darul Ridzuan.
Perak Community Specialist Hospital No. 277, Jalan Raja Permaisuri Bainun, 30250 Ipoh, Perak Darul Ridzuan. Tel : +605-241 9000 Fax : +605-255 4288 Emergency & Ambulance Hotline : +605-246 1977 E-mail : firstname.lastname@example.org