ESTABLISHMENT AND FUNCTION:
Under the "Health Act of 1937", the Governor-in-Council, by proclamation, could appoint any place to be a lazaret for the reception and treatment of lepers.
On 11 May 1939, Fantome Island in the Palm Island Group, North Queensland, was proclaimed a lazaret for the treatment of aborigines with leprosy. In Jul 1939 there were 15 patients at Fantome Island and, in Jan 1940, a further 49 patients were transferred from Peel Island Lazaret.
With improvements in treatment the number of patients gradually decreased, particularly in the 1950s, and, in 1973, patients with Hansen's Disease, as leprosy was now called, were transferred to Palm Island Hospital.
Secretary for Health and Home Affairs, 11 May 1939 - 12 Aug 1957
Minister for Health and Home Affairs, 12 Aug 1957 - 26 Sep 1963
Minister for Health, 26 Sep 1963 - 31 Dec 1973
Palm Island Hospital