On the quarter-millennial anniversary of the Madras General Hospital

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The General Hospital (GH) of Madras (presently Chennai) grew out of a hospital intended for the personnel attached to the Madras army-a Military Hospital (MH)-established within the Fort St George in 1664. Although the GH grew out of this MH, its relocation at its present Périamét (then known as Narimédu, Hog's Hill) site in 1772, bearing the name 'General Hospital' marks its 250th anniversary in 2022. From being MH that serviced the 'white' residents of Madras, it opened to locals in 1899. In 2011, it was renamed as the Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital. Today, it has grown into a stunning medical facility in India treating about 12 000 patients a day. We chronicle the growth of the MH into the GH. Notable that the first formally conducted medical forensic examination in the whole of India occurred in this facility in August 1693, when this institution was MH. Surgeon Samuel Browne's erroneous dispensation of a medication resulted in the death of James Wheeler, a prominent English-East India Company (EEIC) civil servant in Madras. Following an order to execute an investigation by the Governor, Fort St George, an autopsy of the body of Wheeler was carried out by Surgeon Edward Bulkley. Further to referring to such landmark historical details of early time segments of the MH and GH, we briefly refer to the remarkable medical work of Charles Donovan, William Niblock and Mysore Ramaswami Guruswami Mudaliar, who worked at the GH in the early decades of the 20th century.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)47-51
Number of pages5
JournalNational Medical Journal of India
Issue number1
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 23 Aug 2022


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