The inauguration of an Accident & Emergency Department, a 24-hour pharmacy and a prayer hall at Scudder Memorial Hospital, Ranipet (in partnership with Christian Medical College Hospital, Vellore) marked the Hospital Day celebrations in the 147-year-old hospital on Tuesday.

Constructed at a cost of Rs.1.25 crore in memory of Harriet Scudder, wife of John Scudder, the first American Medical Missionary in India, the Accident & Emergency Department is a project executed by the Scudder Memorial Hospital (SMH) in collaboration with the Global Mission of the Reformed Church of America (RCA) to cater to the need of trauma patients, whose number is increasing by the day.

“Being located close to Chennai-Bangalore National Highway and Chennai-Chittoor National Highway, we get 35 accident cases a day, not to speak of medical emergencies from the six-million-strong urban and rural population around the hospital,” C. Anbu Suresh Rao, Medical Superintendent of SMH, told reporters on the sidelines of the function.

Jhonny Alicea Baez, Director of Global Mission, RCA, said that the RCA has been having a relationship with SMH for many years. “We partnered with SMH in the accident and emergency block project, and the churches in RCA were able to help SMH in the completion of the project,” he said.

Dr. Suresh Rao said that this was the first accident and emergency block with an in-built operation theatre. Any patient with a major or minor trauma could be taken to the operation theatre immediately and treated at low cost.

The hospital wants to open up to poor patients in the villages around, and therefore bed charges in the casualty has been made almost nil for the poor. Sixty per cent of the population in and around the hospital belongs to the lower middle class, which cannot afford treatment at a corporate hospital. “The SMH has, therefore, reduced outpatient general tariff from Rs. 60 to Rs. 10. We will soon be starting a low-cost effective care unit, which will offer high-quality treatment at to poor patients,” he said.

The Medical Superintendent said that the hospital also had a six-bed intensive care unit and two theatres with laminar air-flow. It performed hip replacement, knee replacement and spine surgeries under the Chief Minister’s Health Insurance Scheme and other patients.

The hospital also conducted free medical, eye, dental and skin camps in schools and villages once or twice a month. Eye camps are conducted three or four times a month. “We have 25 doctors who are not allowed to do private practice,” he said.

Mr. Baez declared open the Accident and Emergency Department, the Institute of Allied Health Sciences, Prayer Hall and the 24-hour pharmacy.

The Institute of Allied Health Sciences with 30 students initially, will offer the Diploma in Medical Technology, Diploma in Radio Technology and Diploma in Medical Records. Rev. A. Rajavelu, Church of South India (CSI) Bishop of Vellore, declared open the Hospital Day celebrations.Sunil Chandy, Director, CMC, Vellore,Rev. John Baskar, secretary, and Chellaiah, treasurer of the CSI Diocese of Vellore, were present.

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