Facility Heritage

St Vincent’s Private Hospital Sydney

In 1838, at the invitation of Archbishop John Polding, the Archbishop of Sydney, Mary Aikenhead sent five Sisters to Australia. They were the first religious order to arrive in the country and in many ways, established the direction of the Catholic Church and Catholic health care throughout Australia.

On arrival, the Sisters set about caring for women and children at the Female Factory in Parramatta. They provided education and care that brought about significant change. However, the Sisters realised that if further change was to take place, education and health care must be established in Sydney. In 1857, the St Vincent’s Hospital Sydney was established in Potts Point, before relocating to the current Darlinghurst site in 1870.

As the colony began to develop and people started to settle in Australia, St Vincent’s Hospital began to take on paying patients. The need for a private hospital became apparent and three private rooms were established in the 1870s. By the turn of the 19th century, half the general hospital’s income was derived from private fees. This was to help ensure that Mary Aiknehead’s vision, “the poor should have for love what the rich could have for money” was met. Any income derived would support the mission of the Sisters and the mission of the hospital.

On 1 October 1909, the first St Vincent’s Private Hospital Sydney was established using a building present on the current Sacred Heart Hospital site. In 1976, following a large bequest from Mr Edmund Resch, son of the beer brewing family, a modernised St Vincent’s Private opened on our current site. Today we continue to bring the highest quality clinical and person centred care to Sydney, Australia and the international community.

Forty years since Mr Resch’s bequest, we have begun planning the next stage of our development with the planned addition of our new East Wing, which will mean more beds, operating theatres and a new rehabilitation unit. We hope to help to achieve the dream of Edmund Resch that St Vincent’s Private be the best private hospital in the southern hemisphere.