The history of Hospital Fatimah dates back to 1952 when the Brothers of Mercy, came to Peninsular Malaya after being expelled by Chinese communists. In the early years, the Brothers of Mercy worked under the auspices of The Catholic Welfare Services in providing basic medical services to the village populace in the Kinta District and Province Wellesley. They were well received by the people there and are known as “The German Doctors”.
Encouraged by favourable reception, the Brothers Of Mercy began to consolidate their ideals in Malaysia, establishing a hospital within the framework of love and charity.
It was in 1956 when the idea of building a hospital in Ipoh, Perak was mooted. As money was an area of concern, a considerable amount of time was spent in getting financial aid from Germany. Finally, in 1969, The Misereor, a West German charitable Organisation pledged 5.335 million Deutsch marks in financial aid. The Brothers Of Mercy headquarters in Trier, Germany added another 0.7 million Deutsch marks.
A fundraising committee was formed in 1969 and a considerable amount of money was collected from local philanthropists, organizations, and well-wishers. This historical event marked the materialization of the Brothers Of Mercy’s mission, which is in the words of their founder, The Blessed Peter Friedhofen, is “To Care for The Sick As Well As Possible In Every Aspect.”
It was in 1956 when the idea of building a hospital in Ipoh, Perak was mooted. As money was an area of concern, a considerable amount of time was spent in getting financial aid from Germany.
A fundraising committee was formed and a substantial amount of money was collected from philanthropists, organizations, and well-wishers. This marked the materialisation of the Brothers Of Mercy's mission, which is in the words of their founder, The Blessed Peter Friedhofen, “To Care for The Sick As Well As Possible In Every Aspect”.
The name “Fatima” was derived from “Our Lady of Fatima” in Portugal, a popular site of pilgrimage. Hospital Fatimah admitted its first patient on 1st August 1974 and was officially declared open by His Royal Highness The Late Sultan of Perak, DYMM Sultan Idris Shah on 6th December 1974.
The hospital had 148 beds and all its medical equipment were from Germany. The first specialist unit was the Orthopaedic Unit. Subsequently the Ear, Nose & Throat Clinic was set up, followed by the Medical Unit, Obstetric Unit and finally the General Surgery Unit.
Initially, key positions in the Hospital were held by the 12 Brothers of Mercy and 5 Franciscan Sisters from Salzkotten, Germany but they had to leave the country. The vacuum was soon filled by the Franciscan Missionaries of Divine Motherhood (FMDM) Sisters in February 1983. The FMDM Sisters were another well-known and well-liked congregation and were at that time running Our Lady's Hospital at Jalan Chung Thye Phin, Ipoh, Malaysia.
The hospital is corporatised. The Hospital is now managed by lay-people.
The Outpatient Block was extended to cope with the demand for Specialist Outpatient Services. At the same time, four more operating rooms were added to cater to the increasing number of surgical procedures.
The hospital achieved the MS ISO 9002:1994 Quality Management System Award in 1998. The Hospital established Client Support & Counselling Centre, a Health Screening Centre and an Emergency Department.
Paediatrics, Psychiatry and Neurosurgery were established, further enhancing the Hospital’s vision of becoming a premier tertiary hospital in the community. This was later followed by Ophthalmology and Cardiology services.
The year 2003 saw the opening of its Haemodialysis Centre with a Resident Nephrologist.
New Catheterisation Laboratory
The hospital was successful in being awarded a 3-year full accreditation by the Malaysian Society for Quality in Health (MSQH) - 1st cycle. The Hospital renovated Ward 3B and the Operation Theatres. A new Cytotoxic Drug Reconstitution service and the Heart Gift Shop were set-up.
New 128 multi-slice CT Scanner and MRI were added to our services. Block A Outpatient Clinics were upgraded in the same year.
Ground breaking of the new Block E by the Superior General of the Brothers of Mercy, Bro. Peter Berg. The Hospital was successful in being awarded a 3-year full accreditation status by the Malaysian Society for Quality in Health (MSQH) - 2nd Cycle.
The Brothers of Mercy celebrated their 160th Anniversary in Hospital Fatimah, Ipoh. Wards 3C and 4B were renovated; Ward 4B was installed with an Airborne Infection Isolation Room (AIIR). Breastfeeding Room was set-up and the Divisional Heads offices were relocated to St. Anne’s Building.
A new Radiology Department in the Lower Ground Floor was opened. Bro. Wolfgang Widmann laid the foundation stone for a new building for HFSON in the same year. Wards 1C and 2C were renovated while the Main Lobby was refurbished. The hospital started to adopt Baby Friendly Initiative practices.
Wolfgang Cancer Centre was officially launched by Bro. Wolfgang Widmann, in the presence of Msgr. Michael Cheah, Vicar General of the Penang Diocese. 2nd & 3rd floor lobbies were renovated and the 6 new medical suites on the ground floor were completed. Staff rooms were created on the lower ground floor.
The Hospital celebrated its 40th Year Anniversary. A Clinical Pastoral Care Service was formalised. Our new Health Screening Unit was completed. A new generator with 1000kva was installed.
The rear foyer, Pharmacy Department and Dermatology Clinic were refurbished. The Hospital was successful in being awarded a 4-year full accreditation status by the Malaysian Society for Quality in Health (MSQH)‐ 4th Cycle.
The new Brother Liborius Auditorium is completed. Opening of the new Brother Lambert Board Room on 7th floor of the new Block E, on 24th June. Blessing of the second Catheterisation Laboratory situated on the 1st floor of new Block E.
New Cafeteria opened on the basement of the same block. A multi-storey carpark is completed. Corporate/ Insurance Services Office opened in February of 2018.