The century-old Bowring and Lady Curzon Hospital is all set to become a one-point health hub for poor patients. Advanced screening and treatment facilities are being introduced there as part of a major expansion.

The work on screening facilities for cervical, breast and oral cancer; five dialysis units; a new 620-bed in-patient block; a 10-bed paediatric Intensive Care Unit (ICU); and a 14-bed neo-natal ICU are nearing completion.

Hospital Medical Superintendent H. Satishchandra told The Hindu that the new facilities were likely to be inaugurated in the next two months. “While the civil works are nearing completion, furnishing and installation of equipment will take some time,” he said.

This is the second major expansion after the 192-bed BDA-block was inaugurated in 2006. The BDA block now houses the casualty, PICU, NICU, a trauma operation theatre, a 24-hour laboratory, emergency operation theatre, a blood bank, 24 ventilators and other modern equipment.

“The cancer detection units started last month under the Union Government's National Control Programme for Prevention of Cardiovascular Diseases, Cancer, Diabetes and Stroke will be a boon to patients, who otherwise had to rush to Kidwai Memorial Institute of Oncology,” the doctor said.

The hospital attends to nearly 1,000 outpatients a day, apart from inpatients. With 686 beds, it did not have an ICU or a post-operative ward till 2010. A 24-bed ICU that was started in 2010 is now proving to be an advantage for patients, who were otherwise immediately shifted to general ward after surgery or to Victoria Hospital.

“There was a risk of patients catching post-operative infections before the setting up of the ICU,” he said.

The hospital has been identified as the nodal centre for anti-retroviral therapy and is also a Centre of Excellence identified by National AIDS Control Organisation. Apart from other facilities, the hospital has a telemedicine unit that caters to all the districts of Karnataka. Located in the heart of the city, Bowring Hospital was established in 1867 for men and Lady Curzon Hospital was established in 1890 for women and children.

It was during the tenure of Lewis Bentham Bowring, who was the chief commissioner of Mysore and Coorg from 1862 to 1870 and Lady Victoria Curzon, the wife of Lord Curzon, who was the Viceroy from 1899-1905.

In 1893, the hospital was handed over to Government of Mysore. Old timers recall that during the 1920s there were only eleven wards accommodating over 100 beds, of which three wards were for special patients.

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