The first outpatient service for cardiology and neurology began on Wednesday at the Omandurar Government Estate building in the new secretariat complex on Anna Salai without much ado. Banners at the entrance of the building and at the gate are the only indications that a hospital is functioning in the premises.

The services were inaugurated by Director of Medical Education C. Vamsadhara who said only patients referred by other dispensaries will be checked by specialists in cardiology and neurology. The services will be expanded in phases. The hospital has an exclusive pharmacy, an EMRI 108 ambulance has been stationed and ECG monitors have been provided.

J. Raja, who works in a lathe company in Kundrathur, said he had heard people talking about the new service in the bus on his way home on Tuesday. “I was in bus no. 88K and I heard public talking about it, so I came today,” he said.

S. James, a TV mechanic who works in Ritchie Street and is a resident of Wall Tax Road, said he had come after he saw a huge crowd outside the building on his way to work on Wednesday. As he had suffered from chest pains earlier he decided to get himself checked. He had an ECG taken and received medical advice from cardiologists. The cardiology OP was headed by V.E. Dhandapani and the neurology service was led by K. Banu. All doctors, including the chiefs are attached to the Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital.

According to Dr. Vamsadhara, six doctors, three each from Cardiology and Neurology will be visiting the hospital initially. Four nurses and half a dozen hospital workers on contract basis besides a pharmacist were seen. There are two consultation rooms and a room for pharmacy. The DME said that as the hospital’s services are expanded specialists from across the state would be required to come to the hospital to attend on patients.

The building, which was used for a session of Assembly in 2011, has been lying vacant for nearly two years. The government aims to develop the super speciality hospital on the lines of All India Institute of Medical Sciences in New Delhi. The hospital will cater to eight super specialities – cardiology, cardiac surgery, neurology, neurosurgery, medical and surgical oncology, micro hand reconstructive surgery and vascular surgery.