Gaceta médica de México
versão impressa ISSN 0016-3813
FAJARDO-ORTIZ, Guillermo. Profiles and remains of the first hospital in America: the Hospital San Nicolás de Bari, in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. Gac. Méd. Méx [online]. 2006, vol.142, n.1, pp. 75-77. ISSN 0016-3813.
The first hospital services in America were created in the Dominican Republic -formerly known as the Española- by a black woman at the beginning of the Conquest. In 1503 fray Nicolás de Ovando, second governor of the Española built what nowadays would be considered a hospital and named it Hospital San Nicolás de Bari (Saint Nicholas Hospital). During the Colony, the poor and sick were cared for following the precepts of the Catholic religion in the San Nicolas de Bari Hospital. In 1586 the hospital was badly damaged due to a pirate's attack. During the XVIII century the hospital cared for ill soldiers and so its name was changed to Hospital Militar (Military Hospital). Between 1795 and 1865 the social and political conditions under which the hospital had to operate made running the hospital a tremendously hard task. Today, the physical ruins of the Hospital San Nicolás de Bari -built in typical Spanish colonial style-, with thick fortress like walls and stone floors echoes a place where rustic beds were used to care for patients. The San Nicolás de Bari Hospital operated for over 350 years. It finally disappeared during the second part of the XIX century after undergoing severe financial restrictions and lack of supplies and personnel that in the end hampered its work.
Palavras-chave : Hospital; Dominican Republic; catholic religion; colonial times.