Mission Hospital’s mission…

Sir,

I read with interest, your Abracadabra titled “Mission Hospital: Mission Continues” (SOM dated Feb. 20).  Living in the West after leaving Mysuru 40 years ago, because of the casteism, politics, endemic corruption and the downgrading of meritocracy, the Mission Hospital stood out then as a rare gem when even the poor could approach the top surgeon or physician there without forking out wads of currency bills which was the norm at the K.R. Hospital.  

The name Frank Ivory Tovey FRCS stood out in my memory.  He treated my father at the hospital during his last days, and even visited our home without asking for a paisa.  We were of course poor and could not have given him the fee anyway.  Dr. Tovey was in demand by late Jayachamarajendra Wadiyar, as he used to suffer from multiple health issues because of his excessive indulgence!

About 20 years ago, I had the pleasure of meeting him in England, to express  my gratitude to him, and to his wife on the phone for facilitating his visit to our home to check on my father.  After leaving Mysuru, he went to China and later moved to Basingstoke in England where he built a surgical facility.  He is alive in his ripe old age of late 90s with his wife.

In late 1960s, I had to consult your brother Dr. K.B. Subbaiah.  He was a gentleman and a pleasant person to talk to and was easily approachable even as a chief physician in the above hospital.  Even when he left the hospital to set up his consultation clinic, he was the same genial person when I met him to consult on a bug which I picked up whilst visiting  my relatives in Mysuru.  Again, when the less qualified doctors in K.R. Hospital were so arrogant and corrupt, he was scrupulous in his clean dealings with his patients.

Just two of the men that made the above hospital a great institution.

– Simon Clark, England