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#SWISSHISTORYPICS Leading European children's hospital marks 150 years

The University Children's Hospital in Zurich is the largest of its kind in Switzerland. It opened 150 years ago, when doctor and philanthropist Conrad Cramer set up a foundation in memory of his wife, Eleonore. Today the hospital is one of the leading centres for youth and paediatric medicine in Europe.

The Eleonore Foundationexternal link was established in 1868 when Cramer donated CHF50,000 (approximately $53,000.00) to the city of Zurich to build the hospital. Today it has approximately 2,300 employees who take care of 100,000 young patients each year from newborn babies to 18-year-olds.

The hospitalexternal link had a modest start on January 12, 1874. The daily flat rate was CHF1.50 for patients living within canton Zurich and CHF2 for patients living beyond the canton’s border. Even back then, these rates did not cover the actual costs of CHF3.27 of nursing per day. In the first year, 134 children were treated and 6,150 days of care were provided: that meant an average stay of 45.9 days per patient. Out-patient treatment was also provided from the very beginning, with 148 out-patients in the first year.

Since the establishment of the hospital, its intake has grown to the point of its existing infrastructure being unable to meet the demands of paediatric medicine. A new building will be added, which should provide enough space for the hospital's future needs.

A doctor with a heart

Conrad Cramer (1831 - 1918)
Studied medicine and trained as a surgeon in Munich, Vienna and Paris.

Beds when the hospital first opened in 1874.

Resident doctor for the whole hospital. The accounts were kept by a single housekeeper who also took care of the nursing staff.

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