History

King Edward Memorial Hospital (KEMH) opened its doors in 1916 following campaigning by prominent West Australian women including Edith Cowan, Mary Molloy (the wife of the Lord Mayor) and Deborah Hackett. The original hospital was housed on the site of a converted Government Industrial School on Barker Road in Subiaco, this building ‘Harvey House’ still makes up part of the grounds and is home to the WA Medical Museum. 

As our State’s first maternity hospital, KEMH had three large wards for 20 patients, delivery rooms, an operating theatre, an isolation ward and staff quarters. The KEMH Advisory Board was established the same year it opened with Edith Cowan as a founding member. 

In its first year, KEMH delivered 304 babies. Today almost 6,000 babies are born at the hospital each year, accounting for about 20 per cent of all births in Western Australia. In addition to the thousands of babies we safely welcome into the world, KEMH also cares for more than 5,000 women with gynaecological conditions.

A further 2000 plus premature and unwell newborns are cared for every year in the hospital’s neonatal unit - the largest in the southern hemisphere.

KEMH is home to Australia’s only postnatal mental health unit to be located onsite at a women’s hospital rather than a psychiatric facility, and to the country’s first donor human milk bank - PREM Milk Bank - that provides more than 1000 litres of breast milk each year to premature and unwell babies.

In 1989 KEMH welcomed the world’s first IVF quintuplet birth and in January 2016 we celebrated the second set of quintuplets to be born at the hospital.

Find out more

King Edward Memorial Hospital at 100: Staff and visitors celebrate Hospital's milestone (external site - Western Suburbs Weekly, 6 July 2016)
 
King Edward hospital celebrates 100 years of WA births (external site - The West Australian, 7 July 2016)
 
King Edward Memorial Hospital Centenary, Celebrating 100 Years (external site - The West Australian, 8 July 2016)
 
Agelink Theatre celebrates KEMH centenary ( external site - Community News, 26 July 2016)
 
Meet the modern midwives of KEMH (external site - ABC News, 5 August 2016)

KEMH Alumni (external site)