The Second People's Hospital of Shantou (汕頭市第二人民醫院) was originally called the Swatow Gospel Hospital (汕頭福音醫院). Founded by the English Presbyterian Mission, it is the oldest hospital in Swatow and indeed the whole Teochew region. The hospital's humble beginnings is traced to September 1863-only three years after Swatow was made a "Treaty Port"-when Dr. William Gauld, then only 23-years old, arrived to join the Mission and started dispensary in a rented house. The dispensary moved to a new location 14 months later and an adjoining house was rented for in-patients.
Even though it was run by Christian missionaries, the hospital soon garnered substantial financial support even from local Chinese officials and businesses. As fate would have it, Dr. Gauld successfully treated the prefecture governor in Chaozhou for dysentery in 1867. With the aid of the grateful governor, the Mission obtained a plot of land to build a proper hospital along an important thoroughfare, Ghua-bhe-lou (外馬路) of the fast growing port settlement in 1878.
This set of five reports by Dr. Gauld gives invaluable insights into the society, living conditions and medical standards of Swatow in its early years.
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