First Doctor in Scone
Featured Image: Dr Michael Macartney; native of Enniskillen, Ireland
Acknowledgement: W E M Abbott and the Scone Advocate/Scone and Upper Hunter Historical Society
The script is taken from an article appearing in the Scone Advocate on 23 October 1970. This was to mark a celebration of the success of the Scott Memorial Building Appeal. Appeal Chairman Mr W A Bishop announced contributions totalling $45,700 towards an initial target of $50,000. As Sir Alister McMullin said at the launch of the campaign: “Our hospital has always been a personal and local institution and by rendering our support we are keeping it that way”
Dr Macartney was one of many early immigrants to Scone and the Upper Hunter from what is now Northern Ireland. Many more came from the River Foyle Valley of County Tyrone. Like their Scottish ‘cousins’ they made very sturdy settlers, colonizers and pioneers. It is very probable that Dr Macintyre knew contemporaneous valiant lawman and noble magistrate Edward Denny Day, also from Ireland, who died in Maitland. It may well be Dr Macartney was the initial professionally qualified person to settle in the district although Dr William Bell Carlyle (Satur) preceded him in taking up a land grant. Government surveyors, many of whom became ‘grand at land acquisition’ also arrived before him.
The Redbank Hospital was described as ‘pioneering’ but that could equally equate to ‘primitive’?
The Scott Memorial Hospital is now administered by the Hunter and New England Area Health Service (HNEAHS).