Tasmania's Heritage

Agency Details

Agency Number: TA19
Title: DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC HEALTH
Start Date: 06 Jan 1904
End Date: 01 Aug 1956
Description:

The Department replaced an under-funded Board and was charged with preventing deterioration of public health by controlling sanitary works, preventing the pollution of water courses, the adulteration of food and drugs and the sale of unsound food. It controlled local boards of health until their absorption by local government in 1907 and thereafter provided guidance and supervision to local health officers in municipalities. It was not, however, able to enforce action by municipalities until the Public Health Act was amended in 1929. As so often in public health matters, Parliament legislated a solution but not the funds to pay for it. The staff appointed in 1904 comprised the director, a part-time secretary, 3 clerks and 3 caretakers (for the depots maintained as potential quarantine stations or isolation hospitals). Health inspectors were not appointed until 1906. In 1906 the first Medical Officers were also appointed for schools. They were placed on the estimates of the Education Department but had links to the Public Health Department.

On 1 January 1939 these medical inspectors and the school nurses were formally trransferred to the PHD as the School Medical Service. The Department acted as the Tasmanian agent for the Commonwealth Health Laboratory and administered the Commonwealth Quarantine Act until the end of June 1929. (The State Quarantine Act remained in force but was in abeyance due to the division of powers under the federal constitution.) Maternity and child welfare remained largely the province of voluntary associations with limited assistance from the Department prior to WW2.

The Department had a loose internal structure until late 1945 when the Public Service Commissioner made a number of recommendations for the reorganisation of the Public service to prepare for post-War activity. In the case of the Public Health Department this involved the establishment of a divisional structure to replace the existing amorphous groupings such as "inspectors". The Department's inspectors were also inspectors under the Places of Public Entertainment Act and so from 1917 the Department also included the Picture Censor Board until its abolition (some time after 1924). The inspectors were also responsible for factory legislation from 1910 until the establishment of the Industrial Department in 1916 and again between 1930 and 1940. This latter was apparently one of numerous economy measures introduced during the Depression.

Ministerial control in this health area continued to be exercised by the Chief Secretary until 1934 when the first Ministerial portfolio was established for Health.

Information Sources:

Legislation Administered:

Public Health Act 1903

Legislation Creating:

Public Health Act 1903 (3Edw.VII No.37)

Legislation Abolishing Agency:

Functions Performed:
11 HEALTH CARE [1]
Controlled Agencies:
TA465 ROYAL DERWENT HOSPITAL 01 Jan 1827 30 Nov 2000
TA1911 LAUNCESTON HOME FOR INVALIDS 31 May 1913 10 Mar 1954
TA959 HOBART PUBLIC HOSPITALS DISTRICT BOARD 29 May 1919 01 Jul 1991
TA961 LAUNCESTON PUBLIC HOSPITALS DISTRICT BOARD 29 May 1919 01 Jul 1991
TA937 SCOTTSDALE PUBLIC HOSPITALS DISTRICT BOARD 19 Feb 1921 11 Jun 1929
TA1110 DISTRICT NURSING SERVICE 01 Jan 1922 31 Dec 1968
TA940 DEVON PUBLIC HOSPITALS DISTRICT BOARD 24 Jul 1925 10 Jan 1958
TA198 NURSES REGISTRATION BOARD 01 Jan 1927 31 Dec 1987
TA939 SPENCER PUBLIC HOSPITALS DISTRICT BOARD 11 Apr 1929 26 Jul 1951
TA938 SCOTTSDALE AND RINGAROOMA PUBLIC HOSPITALS DISTRICT BOARD 11 Jun 1929 01 Jul 1990
TA18 INDUSTRIAL SECTION 01 Jan 1930 31 Dec 1940
TA154 MILLBROOK HOME BOARD 12 Dec 1933 01 Jul 1968
TA750 GOVERNMENT ANALYST'S BRANCH 01 Jul 1935 31 Dec 1957
TA455 OUSE DISTRICT HOSPITAL 01 Jan 1938
TA679 TUBERCULOSIS DIVISION 01 Aug 1945 31 Dec 1976
TA947 CAMPBELL TOWN AND ROSS PUBLIC HOSPITALS DISTRICT BOARD 06 Sep 1945 19 Jun 1990
TA11 DIVISION OF MENTAL HYGIENE 01 Dec 1945 31 Dec 1956
TA751 PUBLIC HEALTH DIVISION 07 Dec 1945 03 Feb 1993
TA755 HOSPITAL AND MEDICAL SERVICES DIVISION 07 Dec 1945 31 Dec 1990
TA956 QUEENSTOWN PUBLIC HOSPITALS DISTRICT BOARD 06 Mar 1946 27 Sep 1983
TA949 ZEEHAN PUBLIC HOSPITALS DISTRICT BOARD 22 Mar 1946 10 Dec 1970
TA950 KING ISLAND PUBLIC HOSPITALS DISTRICT BOARD 12 Sep 1946 19 Jun 1990
TA457 ST HELENS DISTRICT NURSING HOSPITAL 01 Jan 1948
TA948 HUON PUBLIC HOSPITALS DISTRICT BOARD 21 May 1948 19 Jun 1990
TA946 NEW NORFOLK PUBLIC HOSPITALS DISTRICT BOARD (1) 08 Oct 1948 25 Jun 1968
TA945 BURNIE PUBLIC HOSPITALS DISTRICT BOARD 11 Aug 1949 01 Dec 1965
TA941 MEERCROFT PUBLIC HOSPITALS DISTRICT BOARD 16 Dec 1949 10 Jan 1958
TA942 ST MARYS PUBLIC HOSPITALS DISTRICT BOARD 16 Dec 1949 19 Jun 1990
TA943 ULVERSTONE PUBLIC HOSPITALS DISTRICT BOARD 16 Dec 1949 12 Jan 1989
TA944 BEACONSFIELD PUBLIC HOSPITALS DISTRICT BOARD 16 Dec 1949 19 Jun 1990
TA953 LONGFORD PUBLIC HOSPITALS DISTRICT BOARD 10 May 1950 19 Jun 1990
TA952 SMITHTON PUBLIC HOSPITALS DISTRICT BOARD 19 Jul 1950 12 Jan 1989
TA971 WYNYARD PUBLIC HOSPITALS DISTRICT BOARD 26 Jul 1951 01 Dec 1965
TA957 ROSEBERY PUBLIC HOSPITALS DISTRICT BOARD 14 May 1953 19 Jun 1990
Previous Agencies:
TA768 MEDICAL DEPARTMENT 12 Sep 1803 06 Jan 1904
TA748 CENTRAL BOARD OF HEALTH 01 Jan 1886 06 Jan 1904
TA876 MENTAL DISEASES HOSPITAL DEPARTMENT 01 Jan 1915 31 Dec 1920
TA20 INDUSTRIAL DEPARTMENT 01 Jan 1916 31 Dec 1930
Subsequent Agencies:
TA875 HOSPITAL FOR THE INSANE DEPARTMENT 01 Jan 1907 31 Dec 1915
TA751 PUBLIC HEALTH DIVISION 07 Dec 1945 03 Feb 1993
TA755 HOSPITAL AND MEDICAL SERVICES DIVISION 07 Dec 1945 31 Dec 1990
TA23 DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH SERVICES 01 Aug 1956 17 Jul 1989
TA273 TASMANIAN INDUSTRIAL BOARDS 01 Jan 1963 31 Dec 1984
Related Agencies:
TA11 DIVISION OF MENTAL HYGIENE 01 Dec 1945 31 Dec 1956
Series Created By Agency:
AD443  REGISTER OF MIDWIFERY NURSES. 01 Apr 1902 31 Oct 1976
HSD273  SELECTED REPORTS PREPARED BY THE DEPARTMENT. 01 Jan 1904 31 Dec 1905
HSD20  ANNUAL REPORTS OF PUBLIC HOSPITALS. 01 Jul 1918 30 Jun 1942
HSD12  CORRESPONDENCE RELATING TO PRIVATE HOSPITALS. 01 Jan 1920 31 Dec 1950
AD444  REGISTER OF MIDWIFERY NURSES ANNUAL CERTIFICATES. 01 Jan 1920 31 Dec 1927
HSD1  GENERAL CORRESPONDENCE. 26 Jan 1920 01 Sep 1956
AF200  REPORTS RELATING TO MENTAL HEALTH 01 Jan 1924 31 Dec 1952
HSD2  REGISTERS OF CORRESPONDENCE. 01 Jan 1928 31 Dec 1949
AF45  INWARD CORRESPONDENCE 01 Jan 1929 31 Dec 1935
HSD15  CORRESPONDENCE AND ASSOCIATED DOCUMENTS RELATING TO INFANT MORTALITY. 01 Jan 1931 31 Dec 1951
AD664  CHEST HOSPITAL ORIGINAL PATIENT CARDS WHICH HAVE BEEN REPLACED. 01 Jan 1932 31 Dec 1952
HSD18  MISCELLANEOUS UNRECORDED CORRESPONDENCE. 01 Jan 1934 31 Dec 1951
HSD11  CORRESPONDENCE RELATING TO PUBLIC HOSPITALS. 01 Jan 1935 31 Dec 1953
HSD3  CORRESPONDENCE RELATING TO THE GOVERNMENT MEDICAL SERVICES SCHEME. 14 Jul 1935 03 Jul 1956
HSD223  ADVANCE ACCOUNT REGISTER OF RECEIPTS AND PAYMENTS. 01 Jan 1936 31 Dec 1958
HSD16  CORRESPONDENCE RELATING TO THE ESTABLISHMENT OF THE GOVERNMENT MEDICAL SERVICES SCHEME. 01 Jan 1937 31 Dec 1938
AC807  PATIENT REGISTER (TUBERCULOSIS). 01 Apr 1937 31 Aug 1956
AC808  PATIENT INDEX (TUBERCULOSIS). 01 Apr 1937 31 Aug 1956
HSD42  ESTIMATES. 01 Jan 1938 31 Dec 1939
HSD21  MINUTE PAPERS FOR THE EXECUTIVE COUNCIL. 01 Jan 1938 31 Dec 1957
AC809  MANTOUX TEST REGISTER. 01 Jan 1938 30 Nov 1955
HSD231  BUSH NURSING SERVICES - CORRESPONDENCE AND ASSOCIATED PAPERS RELATING TO MAY SHAW MEMORIAL HOSPITAL, SWANSEA. 01 Jan 1939 31 Dec 1945
HSD8  REGISTER OF CORRESPONDENCE RELATING TO THE SCHOOL DENTAL SERVICE. 01 Jan 1939 31 Dec 1954
HSD10  REGISTER OF CORRESPONDENCE RELATING TO THE SCHOOL MEDICAL SERVICE. 01 Jan 1939 31 Dec 1954
HSD232  BUSH NURSING SERVICES - RECORD OF FOUNDATION OF MAY SHAW MEMORIAL HOSPITAL, SWANSEA 1939 - 1945 COMPILED BY K.M. MORRIS. 01 Jan 1939 30 Jun 1945
HSD4  REGISTERS OF CORRESPONDENCE RELATING TO GOVERNMENT MEDICAL SERVICES SCHEME. 01 Jan 1940 31 Dec 1954
HSD224  DAILY JOURNAL OF MONIES RECEIVED. 01 Jan 1940 31 Dec 1961
AD665  PATIENT CARDS FOR ACTIVE CASES, INCLUDING SEPARATE CARDS FOR PATIENTS WHO DIED 1975-1977. 01 Jan 1940 31 Dec 1979
AA1  CORRESPONDENCE FILES. 01 Jan 1940 31 Dec 1989
HSD19  ENQUIRY INTO TANDARA PRIVATE HOSPITAL. 01 Jan 1942 31 Dec 1942
AD662  CHEST HOSPITAL PATIENT CARDS. 01 Jan 1942 31 Dec 1972
AD663  CHEST HOSPITAL PATIENT CARDS FOR PATIENTS NOT SEEN FOR TEN YEARS OR LONGER. 01 Jan 1942 31 Dec 1972
AD666  PATIENT CARDS FOR REPATRIATION HOSPITAL CASES. 01 Jan 1942 31 Dec 1963
AC695  MINUTES OF MEETINGS OF MEDICAL DIRECTORATE, PUBLIC HEALTH DEPARTMENT. 30 Sep 1945 06 Feb 1951
AD653  REGISTER OF LAND HELD BY PUBLIC HOSPITAL BOARDS. 01 Jan 1948 31 Dec 1975
HSD14  CORRESPONDENCE RELATING TO PHARMACEUTICAL BENEFITS. 01 Jan 1949 31 Dec 1954
AE820  MINUTES OF THE OATLANDS BUSH NURSING HOSPITAL WOMEN'S AUXILIARY 04 Mar 1949 27 Sep 1965
HSD180  DIRECTOR GENERAL OF MEDICAL SERVICES' NOTES AND CORRESPONDENCE RELATING TO TOURS OF HOSPITALS, BUSH NURSING CENTRES AND MEDICAL OFFICERS' RESIDENCES. 01 Jan 1952 31 Dec 1962
HSD183  DUPLICATE RECEIPT BOOKS. 24 Nov 1953 03 Dec 1953