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A hospital that is rooted in charity has remained a landmark for 75 years

The Crescent Hospital   | Photo Credit: K.V. Srinivasan

The chaotic and congested Dr. Besant Road at Triplicane has undergone tremendous changes over the years. But The Crescent Hospital remains a popular landmark on the road, rendering free and subsidised health services to the poor for 75 years, even right through the COVID-19 pandemic.

The hospital, started by a committed group of young doctors in 1946 on the land donated by the then Prince of Arcot, entered the 75th year of its service last month. The present Prince of Arcot, Nawab Mohammed Abdul Ali, is the patron of the hospital, while Dr. Syed Khaleefathullah, a Padma Shri awardee, is the president.

N.K.S. Shaik Mujibur Rahman, a doctor practising at the hospital for more than 10 years, said that when the hospital was started, it primarily offered outpatient and circumcision services. “While circumcision of male children is part of the Muslim culture, there were not many hospitals that offered the service at that time. Even if they were offering, the wait time was more as this was an elective procedure,” he said.

Dr. Rahman said the 23-bed hospital now offers a variety of services to all people, irrespective of their religion, at affordable and subsidised cost.

Some of the key services are dialysis, cataract surgery and maternity care because a large number of low and middle income families are in need of them.

“We also treat patients with other serious illnesses by engaging external consultants. For instance, we recently removed a huge fundal fibroid, weighing five kilogram, from a woman who was fighting obesity. Since she was poor, we did it at a subsidised cost,” he said.

A. Muruganandam, medical administrator of the hospital, who also handled its dialysis services, said the hospital was among the few that did not shut its door for a day for its dialysis patients at the peak of COVID-19. “We even handled a few symptomatic cases whose COVID-19 test results were awaited as they were in dire need of dialysis.” At least 15-20 patients underwent dialysis daily.

M. Mohsina Banu, an administrative staff member, said she had handled several patients unable to pay even the subsidised rates charged by the hospital. “We do not turn them away. We provide them free treatment after consulting some of the trusts supporting us.”

The platinum jubilee celebrations were inaugurated last month by the Prince of Arcot. The Prince of Arcot told The Hindu that he truly believed in the saying, “Service to the humanity is service to god,” and the the services offered by the hospital were the need of the hour because of the escalating healthcare expenditure.

He said a lot of what the hospital had achieved today would not have been possible but for the efforts of Dr. Khaleefathullah, who was ably supported by his son Dr. Syed M.M. Ameen, and doctors, nurses and others involved in the administration of the hospital. Many celebrations and free medical services have been planned throughout the year.


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Printable version | Dec 9, 2021 2:01:08 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/a-hospital-that-is-rooted-in-charity-has-remained-a-landmark-for-75-years/article37132820.ece

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