Mount Alvernia Hospital stands as the legacy of a group of nuns from the Franciscan Missionaries of the Divine Motherhood in Guildford, Surrey, in the United Kingdom.
In 1949, the Franciscan Missionaries of the Divine Motherhood (FMDM) sisters responded in the colonial government’s call for trained nurses. The sisters helped in treating patients who were plagued with diseases such as tuberculosis and malaria in post-war Singapore.
Mount Alvernia was founded by the sisters who envisioned a hospital for all regardless of race, religion or social status, professionally-run with values of compassion and dignity. They began raising funds for the hospital in November 1952, and included within these funds the salaries they received as nurses.
The sisters acquired seven acres of land at Thomson Hill and construction of Mount Alvernia Hospital began in 1957. The hospital was completed in 1961. In its early years, the hospital was staffed entirely by FMDM sisters and the local nurses they had trained. The staff later expanded to lay staff, with the hospital’s first resident medical officer joining in 1963.