Government Royapettah Hospital (GRH) now has two dedicated floors to treat kidney ailments.

The hospital, which is celebrating its centenary year, has added two floors to its casualty block. The new unit has three dedicated operation theatres – one to exclusively conduct renal transplants, another for routine renal surgeries and the third for endoscopic procedures (such as breaking kidney stones).

Equipment for these operation theatres is awaited.

GRH holds the distinction of having performed the first renal transplant in the government sector, back in the early 1980s. However, the venue for transplants soon shifted to Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital, as the specialists were transferred there.

“We have done 40 transplants so far and all of them are related donor transplants,” said N. Gunasekaran, hospital superintendent.

The two floors, built at a cost of Rs. 4.6 crore, as per the Medical Council of India’s specifications, include post-surgery recovery rooms, special wards and general wards.

“Now that we have a dedicated theatre, we can even consider cadaver transplants,” Dr. Gunasekaran added. Last year, the hospital performed 13 transplants and three patients are currently waitlisted for surgery, he said.

The hospital has earned Rs. 9.97 crore under the Chief Minister’s comprehensive health insurance scheme so far. Funds for the new floors and equipment have been provided by the government as part of its proposal to upgrade the hospital.

Health minister K.C. Veeramani, who visited the hospital on Friday, announced that the government had sanctioned funds of nearly Rs. 7 crore for the purchase of an MRI scanner, a digital x-ray system and an auto analyser for the hospital’s biochemistry laboratory.

Dr. Gunasekaran said now that the hospital has been upgraded, the government could consider developing it into a teaching medical institution.

The K.K. Nagar Peripheral Hospital falls under the jurisdiction of the GRH.

“We have around eight acres of land at our disposal and another 15 acres in K.K. Nagar, which is less than 8 km away.

Together, the hospitals cater to the entire population in south Chennai,” Dr. Gunasekaran said. He added that the hospital would eminently fulfil the criterion stipulated by the Medical Council of India.