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Transport Health. Reflecting on a proud history.

We’re rolling out the red carpet for our Transport Health members who’ve now transitioned to RT Health.

It’s been a long (and sometimes complicated journey), but we’re proud to welcome you to the RT Health brand.

Transport Health (just like us here at RT) served the hardworking men and women of the transport industry for 130+ years. And that’s something to be proud of!

We're now uniting under the RT Health brand, backed by Australia’s largest not-for-profit health fund HCF, to represent transport industries and a renewed commitment to industry workers. Our ethos of providing ‘small fund care, big fund security’ as part of HCF will support members into the future.

Uniting our two brands means there’s a wealth of experience in private health insurance under one roof … and we have a combined 260 years’ experience in knowing what members want from their health cover.

Transport Health. A health fund built to help transport workers.

We’ve put together this timeline to provide a concise history of Transport Health. It’s important to recognise the history of an important fund like Transport Health, and the unwavering commitment to transport workers over more than 13 decades.


Born out of a desire to help Victorian tramway workers and their families cover the cost of illness and funerals, Transport Health started as the Tramways Friendly Society back in the late 1880s and was one of the first health funds in Australia.


In 1923, the organisation became known as the Mutual Benefit Society of the Employees of Melbourne and Metropolitan Tramways Board. With the growing demand for insurance products, the Society’s community at that time included all areas of the Australian transport industry.


The Society set up an office at Capitol House in Melbourne’s Swanston Street in 1932 and treated patients at an outpatient’s hospital, providing a dental clinic, masseurs department, eye testing and an ear, nose and throat specialist, at the same location.

Over the years, allied health services, hospitals, aged care and retirement living were added to its operations.


The Society established its first inpatient hospital in 1949 with the purchase of Vimy House Private Hospital in Queens Road, South Melbourne. The hospital had been established in 1920 by two Australians, Leah Rosenthal and Belle Jobson, who served as nurses at the WWI Battle of Vimy Ridge in 1917. When the Society bought the hospital, it accommodated 30 patients and had residential facilities for doctors and nurses. Members received free hospitalisation if their surgeon treated them at Vimy House. *


In 1961, the Society decided to extend the services provided at Vimy House by buying an adjoining property, ‘Bathurst’, and relocating the offices and medical clinics from Capital House.


A new Vimy House Private Hospital opened in Kew in 1975, but not before a long town planning appeal process following the purchase of what was originally a residential site.


Karinyah Nursing Home, a 36-bed facility, was purchased in Camberwell in 1982. By this time, both Karinyah and Vimy House were open to the public and Society members.


The business was incorporated in 1987 when it also changed its name to Transport Friendly Society Limited. It introduced a superannuation fund (which has since been divested).


In 2014, Transport Friendly Society Limited demutualised and Primary Healthcare became owners of Transport Health.


RT Health purchased Transport Health.


When RT Health merged with HCF in November 2021, we took Transport Health members along for the journey … and they received all the benefits and advantages of being under the HCF umbrella as part of the RT Health group.


Transport Health officially merged with HCF on 1 January 2023, and we commenced plans to bring valued members under the RT Health brand. 


And now we’re here. 2024. Proud to officially welcome Transport Health members into the RT Health family.

Retaining your history and loyalty

Being with Transport Health means you’ve done the hard yards when it comes to showing your loyalty. We’ll be working hard to make sure you’re recognised for your years with Transport Health when it comes to perks at RT Health.

You’ll get access to all the same member benefits as RT Health members do – RT Thank You, our Central magazine, Branch 2U events … and much more.

* www.hawthorntramdepot.org.au/papers/vimyhouse.htm