Heatherton Sanatorium

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Heatherton Sanatorium
Opened 1913
Closed 1998
Current Status Demolished
Building Style Cottage Plan
Location Heatherton, VIC
Alternate Names
  • Heatherton Hospital (1974–98)
  • Heatherton Psychiatric Hospital (1987–98)


In May 1913, the Victorian Public Health Department opened the Heatherton Sanatorium for the treatment of people with tuberculosis with a capacity of 100 beds. Operational funding for the sanatorium came from the Victorian Government and municipalities and it was administratively linked to the nearby Melbourne Benevolent Asylum.

By the late 1940s, the Commonwealth Government Health Department took over the Heatherton Sanatorium. In the early 1950s, the sanatorium housed 260 tuberculosis patients in wards, wings and blocks that separately housed adult males, adult females and children. A five-storey nurses’ home was built. By the late 1950s, the number of tuberculosis patients had declined and other hospitals, such as Prince Henry’s and the Austin Hospital, started using parts of Heatherton for their own services. A state primary school, no. 4982, operated to meet the needs of young patients.

In 1974, the Alcohol and Drug Dependant Persons Services Branch took over two wings at Heatherton. In 1976, the Commonwealth Government returned full responsibility for the facility to the Victorian Government and its name changed to Heatherton Hospital. In the 1980s, system reviews led to the closure of Willsmere Hospital, Kew whose patients were admitted to Heatherton in 1987. Heatherton Hospital was also declared a psychiatric hospital for the elderly. In the 1990s, system reviews saw Heatherton associated with the Kingston Centre (the successor to the Melbourne Benevolent Asylum). In 1998, Heatherton Hospital closed.