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“Could be much better!” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Museum of Health Care

Museum of Health Care
32 George Street, Kingston, Ontario K7L 2V7, Canada
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244 reviews 244 reviews
67 attraction reviews
Reviews in 73 cities Reviews in 73 cities
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“Could be much better!”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 5, 2012

The museum is housed in Kingston General Hospital. They seem to have displays, but having had family with nursing graduates I was very disappointed in the displays, much is in storage. Very picky and pretentious in what they want. Does little to celebrate history. Needs some guidance from people whose passion is health history. Glad the admission is by donation. However the archivist relegated to some old floor is very helpful and will assist you in many ways. Again much in storage!

Visited February 2012
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Diana G, Manager at Museum of Health Care, responded to this review, November 7, 2012
Thank you for comments about your visit to the Museum of Health Care. We are sorry to hear that your visit did not meet your expectations. We would like to take a minute to address, or try to clarify, some of the issues you raise.

The Museum of Health Care leases space, the Ann Baillie Building National Historic Site, from the Kingston General Hospital but we are an independent entity. We have a small staff that keeps things running, but unfortunately an archivist is not one of them. The archivist to whom I believe you refer is a KGH employee, responsible for documents pertaining specifically to KGH history. She is a fantastic resource and exceedingly helpful.

As you note, we do have seven onsite galleries (displays), one of which focuses on nursing history. We installed this exhibition in 2010, in consultation with an advisory board of nurses, historians, and KGH School of Nursing Alumni, to honour the history of the building in which we are housed and the experience and dedication of nurses. Though only two rooms are dedicated to the presentation of this material, we also offer several events over the year that present nursing history.

We do regularly consult with individuals and professional organizations whose passion is the history of health and medicine. I am sorry that this did not come across in our exhibitions. As mentioned above, all exhibitions are developed in consultation with an advisory board comprised of individuals with expertise in the subject area. Further, many of our board members are well-respected curators, historians, and/or physicians whose input into content and presentation is much valued.

Your main critique, as I read it, is that much of our collection is in storage. You are certainly correct; yet, this is very typical of most every museum. Generally speaking, approximately 1% of a museum’s collection is on display at any given time. The Museum of Health Care does offer Collections Tours by appointment and is happy to arrange access for researchers or individuals with specific interests. Additionally, our collection is accessible to the public online.

I’d also like to explain our collecting activities. We are selective about what we choose to take into our care for many reasons, including the condition and quality of the artefact and the impact of these on its interpretive use or preservation, whether it duplicates items already held, the space available to house it properly. At the present time our storage facilities are almost filled to capacity and, as a non-profit institution, our budget does not allow for an expansion of our storage facilities. Even so, we regularly add to our collection by several hundred artefacts per year. Our goal with the collection is to include the experiences of many types of healthcare providers and of patients alike.

We do appreciate your feedback. As we work to install new exhibitions in the coming years we will aim to communicate our interest and enthusiasm for the history of health care to each of our visitors.


Pamela Peacock

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4 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
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English first
British Columbia, Canada
Senior Contributor
32 reviews 32 reviews
8 attraction reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
77 helpful votes 77 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 8, 2012

Admission by donation - how can you go wrong? It was interesting, particularly the history of nursing and nurses training. We spent over an hour here, browsing around, looking at old medical equipment, medicine, etc. If you love museums, as I do, you won't want to miss this. One warning: we were there in August, and there is no air conditioning in this old building. I was dripping sweat by the time we left.

Visited August 2012
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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