Formerly the Melbourne Homoeopathic Hospital, Prince Henry's originated in a Collins Street homoeopathic dispensary (1869). Opening as a hospital for the sick poor in 1876, it was situated, from 1885, in St Kilda Road. Founded by qualified doctors who favoured homoeopathy - a system of treatment by administration of minute doses of drugs whose effects were claimed to resemble the symptoms of the disease to be cured - it was blacklisted by the British Medical Association (BMA). Nevertheless, it had wide popular appeal and shared in the annual charitable grant.
Its 1934 renaming as Prince Henry's, in honour of the royal visit of the Duke of Gloucester, was indicative of homoeopathy's fading appeal. In 1924 the BMA lifted its ban, allowing local graduates to obtain residencies and accept honorary positions. A formal link with the Royal College of Surgeons, finalised in 1936, was accompanied by a radical rebuilding. In 1952 Prince Henry's was affiliated to the University of Melbourne as an undergraduate and postgraduate teaching hospital, an affiliation that was transferred in 1962 to Monash University's Faculty of Medicine. The hospital was also a centre for nurse education and medical research, most notably through the Prince Henry's Medical Research Centre (established in 1960), which specialised in endocrinology, particularly in reproductive medicine. Tied to the Monash Medical Faculty until it became autonomous in 1972, it was incorporated in 1990 and renamed the Prince Henry's Institute of Medical Research. The leading endocrinology research institute in Australia, it enjoys an international reputation.
In 1987 Prince Henry's was amalgamated with the Queen Victoria Medical Centre and Moorabbin Hospital to form the Monash Medical Centre, which opened in 1992, operations on the St Kilda Road site having ended in the previous year.