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Saturday, July 3, 2010

Hospital Visits

To better understand the nature of healthcare provision in India, IHI will try to visit area hospitals at each of our placements. Last week, we visited a new small private hospital called the Rajam Medical Centre in Coimbatore. It is a 40-bed hospital with physicians of virtually every specialty available on call, two operating theatres, and a delivery room. We felt that Rajam’s atmosphere was a warm and inviting one and that the small size of the hospital allowed for the personalized care of the each patient. The staff mentioned that they see several patients in their cardiac care unit that travel from neighbouring countries for that very reason. Though they are a private institution, they do provide some emergency treatment to patients who can’t normally afford their services.

Today, we had the opportunity to tour the government hospital in Coimbatore, which happens to be celebrating its 100th anniversary this year. It truly is a massive facility and it serves over 4000 outpatients a day! As we walked from building to building we were a bit taken aback by the crowds and the hospital’s size. The government hospital provides free medical care to the population, including medications, and it has every department you can think of on the one campus—dental surgery, physiotherapy, vascular surgery, neonatology, paediatric surgery and medicine, trauma, ENT, psychiatry, cancer treatment, ophthalmology, leprosy treatment, diagnostic imaging including a CT and MRI lab, all of the inpatient wards...everything down to the coroner’s office can be found at this one large medical education and treatment centre. Several children from FFC regularly visit the neurology department for the ongoing treatment of seizure disorders. There is also an STD clinic on site that provides free anti-retroviral treatment for patients with HIV.

We also did some shopping for FFC today. We drove through the busy streets of Coimbatore and picked up some essentials for the baby rooms: waterproof bedding, a pressure cooker and heavy-duty blender for preparing food for the little ones. We ended the afternoon with a snack – plaintain bajii, yum!We only have a few days left here at FFC and they are quite busy. We have a few blog posts that we are planning on sharing with you to keep you all updated about what's going on with us here in Coimbatore. Then we are off to ASSA after a short break in Cochin. We really appreciate all of you who read this blog . It means a lot to us that all of the people who have supported us and supported this initiative are connected to this trip. We want you all to see exactly what your donations are doing in this country. So we thank you!!

Jeremy, Kayla, Marissa and Pranavi

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