Restoration of heritage Govt. Hospital buildings
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Restoration of heritage Govt. Hospital buildings

June 7, 2023

Centenary celebrations of Mysore Medical College and Research Institute

By S.T. Ravikumar

Mysore/Mysuru: On the cusp of historic centenary celebrations in 2024, the Mysore Medical College and Research Institute (MMC&RI) is gearing up to make the centenary a memorable one with renovated and refurbished heritage infrastructure. The repairs and renovation works at an estimated cost of Rs. 89.5 crore are expected to be completed in December 2023.

The most-awaited restoration of Mysuru’s public hospitals — K.R. Hospital, Cheluvamba Hospital, PKTB Sanatorium and the Boys and Girls Hostels of Medical College — was approved and funds were sanctioned by the previous BJP Government. The Hospitals are located in the core Heritage Zone of Mysuru and are the most sought after by the people from Mysuru and neighbouring districts.

The restoration had become a necessity as the structures, dating back to the times of Mysore Maharajas, had become weak. Many portions were leaking, causing short circuits and the medical students and staff of some sections were functioning in a dangerous condition.

Funds were released by the Basavaraj Bommai Government following appeals by MP Pratap Simha, former MLA L. Nagendra and former Dean and Director of MMC&RI Dr. H.N. Dinesh.

For the record, the MMC&RI is Karnataka’s first and India’s seventh medical institute which was initially established in the Victoria Hospital campus in Bengaluru in 1924. It was later relocated to Mysuru two years after its inception.

According to historical records, academic activities began in August. The 75th anniversary was celebrated in August as well, and now plans are underway for the centenary celebration, also scheduled for August 2024.

Funds were released for renovation, upgradation and repairs of heritage structures. “Global tenders were called through the Directorate of Medical Education (DME) for 14 works and a work order was issued and renovation has begun in full swing,” the current Dean and Director of MMC&RI Dr. K.R. Dakshayani told Star of Mysore.

Under the project, the repairs and renovation of all the wards of K.R. Hospital Surgical Block or the Stone Building have been taken up including re-laying of tiles and refurbishing toilets, and walls, filling of cracks in outer and inner walls, plugging of leaking roofs and floor works.

The damaged portion of Surgical Block’s roof due to vagaries of weather.

New Operation Theatres

Works have also been taken up to repair and restore Operation Theatres (OTs) in the Surgical Block and certain OTs have even started functioning after restoration. The roof, side walls and the gap between the roof and the wall were leaky, leading to fungus growth and weakening of the heritage structure.

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The priority repair works were carried out in the OTs as there is high pressure on patient admission and surgeries. The roofing works have been kept pending as a team of structural engineers and building experts from the National Institute of Engineering (NIE) have already visited the structure a couple of times to assess the damage caused by weather and lack of maintenance all these years. The team is expected to submit a report today, suggesting remedial measures as part of an Integrated Roof Treatment System.

Picture shows the new flooring tiles of the Surgical Block.

The scale of completion

“Over 60 percent of the works at Surgical Block and Seetharanga Block have been completed, 40 percent of Obstetrics and Gynaecology-Out Patient Department (OBG-OPD) Block and Blood Bank Unit have been completed and at present, the renovation works of the Ophthalmology Block are underway and the existing Ophthalmology facilities have been shifted to Special Wards, not to cause any obstruction to the repair works and keeping patient convenience in mind,” she added.

Some of the pending works include the Main OPD Block, Emergency Block, Minor OT, Casualty and Admin Block of the K.R. Hospital. Works are also pending at PKTB Sanatorium, Boys Hostel and Labour Wards of Cheluvamba Hospital where the renovation will be taken up subsequently.

Renovated Burns Ward of K.R. Hospital can henceforth handle more patients with Rs. 3 crore funding from the Centre.

Works to end in December

All the 14 works are scheduled to be completed by December 2023 and this condition has been imposed in the tender. “Already 40 to 50 percent of some of the works have been completed now and we are on track,” the Dean and Director said.

Before the renovation works are taken up at a particular wing or a location, the existing facilities are shifted to available vacant spaces and also to the Princess Krishnajammanni Super Speciality Hospital and Trauma Care Centre at the premises of PKTB Sanatorium on KRS Road so that thousands of patients who come to the hospitals every day are not inconvenienced.

Rs. 9-crore worth MRI machine at K.R. Hospital a boon for poor

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Hospital also gets new orthopaedic surgical instrument unit, renovated Burns Ward 

The MRI machine being readied for service at K.R. Hospital and the facility will be open from July 15.

For the first time in the history of K.R. Hospital, a brand new and hi-tech MRI machine worth Rs. 9 crore has come to the Hospital and will prove a boon for the poor and middle class patients who are now dependent on private hospitals and diagnostic centres which usually charge more for MRI scanning.

The MRI machine has been installed and will be operational by July 15. “We had a huge demand from patients and their relatives for an MRI machine. Till now, we had entered into a contract with MedPlus to provide the facility at K.R. Hospital,” Dean and Director of MMC&RI Dr. K.R. Dakshayani told Star of Mysore. 

“This private facility has been operational for the last 10 years and now we will have our own facility and we will end the contract with the private firm. MRI is the costliest scanning procedure and the private firm used to do it for 50 percent concession rates. After our own MRI facility is set up, the facility will be further cheaper, or free of cost depending on the economic condition of the patient,” she added.

Surgical instrument unit

Patients who need orthopaedic surgical instruments (equipment) were referred to other private surgical instruments dealers as there was no other alternative and the K.R. Hospital lacked the wherewithal. These equipment and surgical aids and implements were sold for a good margin and the patient had to foot the bill.

“Sometimes, even sub- standard equipment was sold and the hospital did not have any control over the menace. Now, after a decision has been taken at the Government level and the Directorate of Medical Education, an orthopaedical surgical unit will be set up at K.R. Hospital to provide quality equipment, tools and implements either at concession rates or free of cost,” she said.

The cost of the MRI machine and the orthopaedical surgical unit is separate and does not include in the Rs. 89 crore funds released by the Government. “There is a Central Government project worth Rs. 3 crore for Burns Ward where 80 percent of the work has been completed and a full-fledged, modern and refurbished Burns Ward will open for patients next month,” Dr. Dakshayani added.

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