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Thursday, April 10, 2014

Hospitalist - Who; some history of Govt General Hospital, Madras

Read the word ‘Hospitalist’ ……… and learnt its meaning !! ~ English is a foreign language and often, the meaning of words could be far different than what we think them to be.

view of the hospital from MRTS

Visitors to Chennai (especially by Train to Central) would never miss this 350 year landmark – the Government General Hospital, officially ‘Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital’ – managed by the State Governemnt, perhaps the first medical institution dating back to 1664 of East India Company days.  In the 19th century, medical college got annexed to it and in 2011, the hospital was renamed after Rajiv Gandhi, sadly because his body was brought here after his assassination in May 1991.

Chennai has become a centre for ‘medical tourism’ known for the healthcare provided by both Govt and private hospitals – Poonamallee High Road is known for the many specialty hospitals that dot the road.  From the beginnings in 1664 for treating the sick East India soldiers to what it is now, there has been great evolution. In recent decades, Cancer Institute in Adyar was set up in 1954; Sankara Nethralaya was founded in 1976,  and the establishment of the Apollo Hospital in 1983 marked the advent of corporate hospitals in the country.

I have recently posted on the newer landmark - ‘the multi super-specialty hospital’  on the Omandurar Government Estate,  formally inaugurated by Chief Minister Jayalalithaa  in Feb 2014. The hospital reportedly has been established at a cost of about Rs. 143 crore, at the site where the Assembly and a section of the Secretariat functioned during 2010-2011. It houses  four medical departments -  cardiology, neurology, medical oncology and nephrology and five surgical departments,(cardiothoracic, neuro, hand and reconstructive micro surgery, vascular and surgical oncology) , in addition to a lifestyle clinic for yoga and naturopathy. This is said to be a ‘referral’ hospital and would not admit patients directly.  The hospital is equipped with modern amenities – 70  imported beds operated electro-hydraulically; digital touch screens, operation theatres with imported LED lights and pendants containing  cameras and data connection for live demonstration of surgeries, and the like.

Now some English :

Hostel (noun) :  an inexpensive place for usually young travelers to stay overnight;  a shelter for homeless people

Hospital (noun) : a place where sick or injured people are given care or treatment and where children are often born

Hospitality (noun) : [has nothing to do with hospital though !] : generous and friendly treatment of visitors and guests :

Hospitable treatment : the activity of providing food, drinks, etc. for people who are the guests or customers of an organization

Hospitable (Adjective) :  generous and friendly to guests or visitors; having an environment where plants, animals, or people can live or grow easily; ready or willing to accept or consider something

……………………….. now Hospitalist – which has nothing to do with being hospitable !!!!!!

Hospitalist  (noun) : a physician who specializes in treating hospitalized patients of other physicians

Yes, Hospitalist, in fact refers to what is rapidly becoming a new specialty in medicine, perhaps due in part to the rise of organized health care. These days, the care that you receive during a hospital stay may be coordinated and monitored by a doctor who is not your regular doctor or the referring physician. The word "hospitalist" itself first appeared in print in 1996 and derives, of course, from "hospital," which in turn can be traced back to the Medieval Latin word "hospitale," meaning "hospice" or "guest house."

English is a funny language !!

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

PS : thanks to - for the dictionary meaning of words. 

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