Mumbai: In order to keep the history alive and keep things rolling in the city’s oldest hospital, the Cama & Albless Hospital has been granted a donation of Rs 3 crore by the Tata Trusts. The philanthropic organization, the Tata Trusts has given this amount to enhance the hospital’s facilities and build a museum.
Besides the Tata Trust Fund, the hospital is likely to receive funds from the government to restore its ancient structure. The move to upgrade the hospital with various medical facilities would aid the underprivileged patients while building a museum would inspire the medical students to follow the footprints of personalities associated with the hospital and promoted medical education.
In the proposed museum, the authority intends to put on display the antiquity of the hospital. Vintage photographs of this 132 years old gothic structure, important information of the first Indian lady doctors associated with the hospital would be showcased as an inspiration to students. The museum will also have a small library focusing on Indian women doctors and their achievements.
Women doctors associated with the hospital who contribute to the promotion of medical education and helped in creating institution only for women and children would be highlighted in this museum. This includes the first lady Medical superintendent of Cama and Albless Hospital, Dr Annette Benson. She also founded the Association of Medical women in India. Jerusha Jhirad, she was among the first Indian women physician and the medical officer in charge of Cama Hospital. She was awarded the Padmashri in 1966.
“The first few women doctors were brave, dynamic ladies whose life stories are a source of inspiration. With this museum, we would like to motivate our students by showing them the devotion these women had for this hospital,” Dr Amita Joshi, current medical superintendent of the hospital told Mumbai Mirror.
The museum will showcase the pioneering women’s achievements research papers, innovations and experiments. “We have already started working on gathering information from our archives and other sources. We are hoping that it will ready by this year,” she added.
Dr Joshi further added that the Tata Trusts’ funds would also be used “to provide better OPD facilities for gynaecology patients, and a special urogynaecology department”, to be run by senior gynaecologist Dr Aparna Hegde, “This department will help our underprivileged patients, who cannot afford the private hospital.”
Dr TP Lahane, joint director, Directorate of Medical Education and Research (DMER) told the daily, “Apart from Tata Trust funds, the government has also sanctioned funds to restore the Cama and Albless Hospitals structure. It is a beautiful building, with arched doors and windows made of teakwood, and spiral stairs. Being the city’s first women and children’s hospital, we want to maintain its beauty, and the longevity of the historic structure.”
The Cama & Albless Hospitals was inaugurated in 1886. The building was formally opened on 30 July 1886, however, the foundation stone was laid by the Duke of Connaught on 22 November 1883. The hospital has 367 beds. Pestonjee Hormusjee Cama contributed Rs 100,000 to the hospital’s construction, and staffing was provided through the Medical Women for India Fund.