The hospital in King Edward Avenue Sunshine was originally known as St Andrew's Hospital and it was run by the Sisters Carruthers who in 1946 decided to retire. The hospital became the Sunshine & District Community Hospital on 15 September 1946. In the First Annual Report for the period 15 September 1946 to 30 June 1947, it is stated that of the 413 patients admitted 37.8% were members and 62.2% non members, and that the hospital was "...responsible for hospital attention under benefits to approximately 2000 residents." Just what the exact benefits were is unknown. Did members receive cheaper treatment, cheaper pharmaceuticals, guaranteed hospital bed, or something else? If anybody can provide the information it would be greatly appreciated.
The 1946 cards show that L.W. Noble of Morris Street, Sunshine had a Single Membership which cost 26 shillings ($2.60) per annum, and that J.H.F Noble of the same address had a Double Membership which cost 39 shillings ($3.90) per annum. The cards were issued when payments for the first 4 weeks of membership were made, which were 2 shillings for Single and 3 shillings for Double. The stickers inside provide a record of continuing membership payments.
These two cards indicate that membership of the Sunshine & District Community Hospital was a way of receiving Treatment or Membership benefits. This type of membership of a hospital appears to be a forerunner to the present day memberships provided by the various Hospital Benefits Associations. The cards also provide information about the cost of being a member of the Sunshine & District Community Hospital in 1946, and how the membership payments were recorded.
The membership cards are actually small booklets with the Single Membership Card being Yellow coloured and the Double Membership Card being Blue coloured.
Inscriptions & markings
Single Membership Card No. 983 / Double Membership Card No. 297 / Sunshine & District Community Hospital (Incorporated) / King Edward Avenue Sunshine / N.B.--This Card Must be submitted when requiring Treatment or Membership Benefits