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New Zealand Medical Services in Middle East and Italy

1 NZ General Hospital Takes Over Helwan Hospital

1 NZ General Hospital Takes Over Helwan Hospital

At least one New Zealand general hospital was required to change its location in view of the impending offensive in the Western Desert. As 1 General Hospital had been in the Greek campaign, it was proposed that that unit should take over the Helwan hospital from 2 General Hospital, whose staff would open a hospital on the lines of communication at Garawla in the Western Desert.

The DDMS 2 NZEF attended a ceremonial parade of 1 General Hospital on 8 September, and remarked that the occasion was a particularly pleasing one as it marked a definite stage in the reconstruction of a valued unit of the New Zealand Medical Service. No. 1 General Hospital had given good service in the United page 239 Kingdom and in Greece, but for a time it was doubtful if the unit could be re-formed. The original members of the unit left no doubt about their desire in the matter and the gaps in the ranks had been filled by well-trained reinforcements.

Prior to the taking over of the administration of the Helwan hospital by 1 General Hospital, the DDMS paid a tribute to the work done by 2 General Hospital during the previous twelve months. Each month he was able to report to DGMS at Army Headquarters the hospital's smooth running and its staff's cheerful acceptance of all extra responsibilities and a high standard of nursing and clinical care. The reason for the move was that constant and sometimes monotonous duty under conditions of the Egyptian climate made a change advisable, and it was also desired to give 2 General Hospital a turn as a ‘mobile’ general hospital of 2 NZEF.

No. 1 General Hospital then began to take over Helwan hospital, the advance party going there on 15 September and an equal proportion of 2 General Hospital's staff going to Maadi. The changeover was completed smoothly three days later and the work of the hospital continued without interruption. The NZANS posted to 2 General Hospital remained at Helwan, while the officers and other ranks went to Maadi. The number of patients admitted to the hospital during the year had approached ten thousand.

At their new site on the northern boundary of Maadi Camp the staff of 2 General Hospital benefited greatly from the change to an open-air life.