The origins of the current hospital model have a long history which can be traced back over centuries. From these origins of caring for the sick by monastery monks, more so for preparing for death rather recovery, it seems a far cry from today’s economic and socially justified level of health care. Connections to spiritual well being and the notion of physical health seem may remote at best in Australia’s non denominational public and private health systems.
With a rapidly ageing ‘baby-boomer’ generation, already placing increasing demands on hospital systems, previous lessons learnt through trial and error by larger institutions need to be heeded before the impeding medical crisis becomes overwhelming. There cannot be a purely architectural solution to all problems. However information gathered from research indicates that the physical environment has a significant influence on both patient recovery rates and the people working within the space. This important data on human reaction and interaction should be thoroughly evaluated and used for creating better outcomes in hospitals. Bigger structures made be the obvious answer to bed shortages, however smarter design interventions can work cohesively with medical advances and also be beneficial to recovery times and quality of life.