The SSKM Hospital, more popularly known as the PG Hospital is situated in the heart of Kolkata is equipped with several buildings. SSKM is the oldest general hospital in the country built by the East India Company. Built in 1770 by East India Company for the Europeans, the hospital was then known as Presidency General Hospital (PG Hospital). It threw its gates open to Indians later.
Many of the structures in the hospital carry the heritage tag. Offering specialty services in Medicine, Ophthalmology, Cardiology, Surgery, Nephrology, Endocrinology, Dialysis Units, Burn Special Units, Blood Banks and also offers medicines at 68% discounted prices offered in the Fair price medicine pharmacies launched by the State Government.
Recently, the same hospital and education institute was completely revamped and is unrecognizable even by many of the daily city commuters who often crossed the same location twice a day. Once disregarded for its dilapidated condition and non-competent infrastructure, it stands refurbished today with much more facilities than ever before.
Biswajit Ghosh, a general surgeon at John Hopkins Hospital in Maryland, USA, was seen taking photographs of the sprawling gates of SSKM hospital on Harish Mukherjee Road. He went inside and captured images of the patients’ rest rooms and the boulevard. He was visibly elated to see the 300 year-old institution completely transformed.
After coming to power, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who also holds the health portfolio, decided to upgrade SSKM Hospital. Ever since the project started Banerjee has been paying surprise visits to check the progress of work.
The hospital, also the Institute of Post Graduate Medical Education & Research (IPGME&R), is where Dr Ghosh had studied medicine. But as a student he never imagined such a facelift. The main block, emergency ward, neo-natal care building, the parks and even the police outpost have been made tidier with neat tiles and bright lights, things you find only in healthcare institutions run by corporate houses in Kolkata. Previously broken corridors, unhealthy sanitary have all been face-lifted to give a more welcoming and warm feeling to the ailing patients in house.
Latest Wing of the SSKM Hospital (Wikipedia)
The government has spent around Rs 30 crore on the remote-controlled steel gate at the main entrance and another huge gate to be made in gothic style on AJ C Bose Road so that the façade matches with the looks of Victoria Memorial Hall. Funds will also be allocated for three upscale rest rooms for patients and their relatives, an eight-storied academic building, an eight-storied neo-natal care unit, a five-storied annexed building, a 10-story out-patients department at Bangur Institute of Neurology (BIN) and an 11-storied trauma care centre.
The Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) and local MPs have also given funds for these projects. The government has taken up many projects for both external and internal development at SSKM hospital. We have already set up the remote-controlled main gate and rest rooms. Beautification of the boulevard, lake and the parks is also done along with illumination of all the pathways,” said professor Pradip Kumar Mitra, director cum principal of IPGME&R and SSKM.
“I am coming to SSKM for the past two years for the treatment of my mother who is suffering from chronic liver disease and acute arthritis. My mother has got back new lease of life,” said an employee of a big corporate house.
Construction and revamping of major portions of the academic building that houses microbiology, community medicine departments, two air conditioned general lecture halls and neo-natal care buildings have all been completed.
The Chief Minister recently inaugurated the academic building which has a specialised trauma care centre to cater to accident victims. The 11-storied trauma care centre coming up inside the SSKM will provide all kinds of emergency treatment. The government has allotted around Rs 18 crore for this project.
Several important departments such as Orthopaedic, Radiology, Anesthesiology and Neuro Surgery, which are essential for treatment of accident victims, will come up. The hospital management also has plans to set up a helipad on the rooftop of the trauma care centre so that people can be air lifted from accident sites or the city airport. The proposed project requires approval from the Army, civil aviation and the state government.
The government has also bought several high-end equipments; scanning electron microscope worth Rs 1.8 crore, hi-tech MRI units, DSA machines and PCR, to provide state of the art medical supervision to the ailing.