Health Care Improvements—and Injustice

Health Care Improvements—and Injustice

Black Bermudian women were indispensable to the health care system, despite their second-class status.

Notable nurses from history include Eliza Lusher, who cared for yellow fever victims at HM Dockyard in 1853.

The more recent past saw lay midwives Susan Lamb, Alice Maude Carlington and Helen Foggo active in St David’s. Cordelia Fubler, who trained at the Naval Hospital in Dockyard, practised in Sandys.

The late 19th and early 20th century ushered in many changes. The Island’s first civilian hospital, the Cottage Hospital, opened in 1894. It was replaced by King Edward VII Memorial Hospital in 1920. In 1926, the district nursing service got off the ground.

But the nursing schools at both hospitals and employment at those institutions and the district nursing service had a whites-only policy.

Scores of Black Bermudians who qualified as RNs, either in the US or the UK, had to endure this injustice until 1958.