In April 1793, members of the Belfast Charitable Society had felt the need for a public dispensary in Belfast was great. They had submitted a notice to the Belfast Newsletter resolving to open the dispensary and called upon the “support and patronage of our fellow-Citizens.” It was agreed on 3rd July 1793 that a room for the Apothecary to lodge in and a room for consultation would be provided in the Poor House. It was also unanimously agreed the medicines and attendances should be retained for the inhabitants of the parish only.

It was an invaluable service, as prior to the services of the Belfast Charitable Society, medical care was only available to those with the means to pay for it. By providing both medical care and medicines to the poor of Belfast, the Society were undoubtedly improving the living conditions and prospects for many in the town.