Our History – starting in 1873

Founded in 1873 by philanthropist 12th Earl of Meath Reginald Brabazon, The Hospital Saturday Fund was established as a means of providing much-need contributions to the voluntary hospitals. It allowed working men the opportunity to pay a small weekly sum on the day they were paid, Saturday, and covered them if they then needed to go into hospital.

The health plan begins in Ireland in 1949

The Hospital Saturday Fund operated in the UK for over 70 years before the health plan was introduced in Ireland in 1949. To celebrate 70 years of our health plan in Ireland, we thought it would be interesting to look at how life was then. Our Irish office is situated in Ennis, County Clare. Now a popular tourist destination, in 1949, Ennis was the subject of a short documentary film.

Ennis – now


Ennis in 1949

Attitudes to health in 1949

Good Health in 1949

This short documentary takes us through the hospital facilities provided by Middlesex County Council in 1949. We hear about the wards, nurses and even the recreational facilities provided to help patients recover.

Mental Health in 1949

A short American drama takes us through Marvin’s worries about not making the team. Even in 1949, it’s accepted that worrying can make you ill. Dr Thomas then offers Marvin some sage advice!

1949 – Don’t follow this advice!

Doctor promotes Camel cigarettes!

Not the best way to deal with sneezing!