Divided facilities : early cottage hospitals and the provision of health care Services in Natal, 1880-1910.
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This dissertation investigates the history of the introductory of the cottage hospital system in the colony of Natal. This thesis examines the history of three cottage hospitals that were erected in Natal from the late 1880s to 1910, namely; Umsinga (1889), Newcastle (1901) and Dundee (1903). This thesis examines the reasons behind the formation of these public health care facilities and how they worked. Furthermore, this study considers the contributions made by these cottage hospitals in the magisterial districts where they were erected. Initially, these cottage hospitals were located in small villages that were fully funded by the colonial government, but in later years were also built in more urbanised areas. Similar to other institutions, these cottage hospitals were not immune from inequalities that were associated with race. This research also considers whether or not these cottage hospitals were used as tools or instruments of empire by the British. Finally, this study also investigates the decline of the cottage hospital system in Natal in 1910, including the effect the formation of the Union of South Africa had on these health care institutions.