Karnatak Health Institute

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Karnatak Health Institute (KHI) is a successful experimental program designed to provide rural healthcare in India.

Karnatak Health Institute (KHI) was founded in Ghataprabha, surrounded by the Ghataprabha River basin. A remote region, it was the part of Gokak Taluka. For decades, underdevelopment of this neglected Taluka kept its inhabitants in starving, unhygienic, unhealthy and economically poor conditions.

In 1929, Dr. Kokatnur came from Belgium to start his medical practice here. A highly qualified surgeon from the US, he left his assignment there and returned to India. Dr. G.S. Kokatnur had seen the sufferings of his people ever since his childhood.

A clinic was started on the rock of Ghataprabha banks. Dr. Kokatnur’s magic hand and healing touch cured the patients coming to him and he won the minds of the people even from far-off areas! The work expanded as he became famous and popular due to his excellence and expertise.

In 1935, the first hospital building was constructed and Dr. Kokatnur got his like-minded friends coming to Ghataprabha, even from the cities like Mumbai. Soon, Dr. N.S. Hardikar, freedom-fighter joined and moulded his services towards socio-economic development of Gokak taluka people. Dr. M.K. Vaidya (1948–1993) joined the institution in 1948 and worked ceaselessly till his death; with his continuous and untiring efforts, he started shaping the Modern KHI (of today).

After independence, and particularly from 1951 onwards, KHI took positive steps! It obtained 146 acres of land from then Bombay Government, over and above 60-70 acres of its initial project-area. Now, patients adhered to KHI’s Ambulance-services to come to KHI’s hospital. This was the beginning of ‘Service’ with latest surgical and medical treatment, with the latest medicines. And that too, with costs affordable by patients. But from here, KHI emerged not as hospital complex alone.

KHI is not a hospital complex alone. It is a voluntary organization, where the meaning of Health goes beyond cure of disease. It is an educational institution meant for spreading the Gospel of Healthy life – individual, family, community and Nation.

It is backed by number of voluntary workers from the Governing Council down to the Mahila Mandals in villages who look after the Rural Complex.

KHI is built as a Good Healthy United Family (HUF) when united families of this Nation are being destroyed by a wave of neo-mania and pressure of circumstances. KHI is an Experiment to find out the best possible way for the uplift if Indian Community, blending the best in the old and the new.

Self-help, self-respect, self-confidence, hard work, independence selflessness and self-sacrifice too are its principles in action all along its life. Several of its services are free to many. Remaining services are highly economical to all. Personalization is achieved through feeling of high respect to the best creation of the Great Creator….. The Human Being. It is thus Temple of all Religions.

Therefore, one finds in KHI, a blend of health education of the masses, medical services and socio-economic development of the poorest of the rural poor.

The KHI’s tri-colour:

  • Health - Education through service, village-level training in cleanliness and hygiene of primary Village-Health-Workers.
  • Medical - Surgical, medicinal treatment at affordable low cost or even at times at No cost to needy patient!
  • Economic - Uplift of rural poor, through Mahila-Mandal Udyogkendra’s activities in KHI and in surrounding 6 villages.

Along with raising economic standards, KHI is an Institute, where its physical structure, infrastructure, water-supply and drainage, waste-disposal, even playgrounds and gardens are designed in such a way that it is well spaced, with healthy, dust-free and dirt-free environment, and economical, to provide a model for peace. Serenity, neatness-cleanliness, happiness, salubrious air, which would avoid evil sentiments and quarrels amongst people, self-sacrifice, so that every one leads a quality life.

In this temple of all religions, the sacred shrines are: Hospital-complex, TB-sanatorium, Village-health-centers. Nursing-training-school, Primary-education, Vocational-training-center i.e., Udyogkendra. Innovations and Technology development: bringing latest in Medicare and Treatment: (Multi-Specialty-Hospital) to Modernisation of Medical stores and office/accounting procedures. (computerization of Medical stores and ‘Accounting and Management Information System’)


This Institute was established by the inspired dedicated devoted soul late revered Dr. G.R. Kokatnur in the year 1929 and started providing medical services in T.B. Sanatorium when T.B. had assumed epidemic dimension and many precious lives were lost. During that time he landed as Angel in this barren plateau.

These efforts of Dr. G.R. Kokatnur were supplemented very well with the association of great Nationalist and Patriot Dr. N.S. Hardikar in association with revered Dr. M.K. Vaidya who was well-known Physician and Surgeon and Champion of Humanity. They joined together and developed this Institute to the present impressive stage.

In appreciation of his efforts the then Government of Bombay granted 149 acres of land. Now the Hospital complex is categorized as under with the bed strengths:

  • Medical and surgical 160
  • Gynaecology 25
  • Paediatrics 15
  • Obstetrics 60
  • Other specialities 20
  • T.B. sanatorium 130
  • Total beds 410

In addition to this, Mobile Health Service is being provided to educate and to provide medical aid at the door steps of the villagers covering about 60 villages since 1955.

Institute of Nursing[edit]

Our pioneers had established Institute of Nursing with the pious objective of providing free education to rural poor girls who have opted for this noble profession of serving poor in the year 1952 by introducing auxiliary course which has been upgraded in the Diploma Nursing Course in the year 1972. We have been providing presently to 200 girls free Nursing Education for a period of 3 years for completion of the education and 2 years they undergo clinical training in different medical fraternities to gain experience and they are being given stipend and also free food, free residential facilities and free arrangement of tours. They are being deputed to well equipped Hi-tech Hospitals to gain experience in different complicated services and it is really said “Efficient Nursing is backbone for the success of the Hospital” which has been proved in our Karnatak Health Institute which has earned distinct reputation on account of its nursing care.

Our Institute of Nursing has not only earned appreciation form the State Government but also it has earned appreciation from the Nursing Council of Government of India, New Delhi on account of its high standard of education with full required facilities such as Laboratory etc.

Rural development – rural welfare services[edit]

It was in the year 1954 through the encouragement of late Smt. Durgabai Deshmukh the Institution spread its wings under dedicated illustrious leadership of late Mrs. Vatsalatai M. Vaidya into Community Development Activities Social Welfare Services. It is really pleasing to mention here that more than 40 Mahila Mandals within the periphery of 60 km were established and also Balwadies, Milk Societies were also established to make them self-sufficient and undergo Income Generation Schemes. In addition to this Health Centers with Maternity facilities have been established in order to provide medical education as well as educate them in Health and Hygiene.

Udyog Kendra (for women)[edit]

In order to make the rural women self-sufficient the Institute right from the beginning has imbibed upon the minds of the rural women not to while away time but to learn in this Udyog Kendra established, wherein stitching, tailoring and doll making are being taken up. Many ladies have taken advantage of this Art and have become self-sufficient and have been earning through tailoring and other arts which they have learnt from this institute.


The hospital

  • Treats 60,000 patients per year in OPD
  • Serves 10,000 patients every year in IPD
  • Performs 3,000 surgeries every year of ABD, chest, ophthalmic, gynaecological, emergency and general
  • About 2,500 deliveries every year in maternity hospital
  • 600 family planning operations
  • Advanced laparoscope, videoendoscope, colonoscope

A 200-bed general hospital where patients are charged Rs. 35/- only per day for the General Ward. Charges for neatly designed Special Wards range from Rs. 75/- to Rs. 150/- per day and charges for beautifully constructed family cottages vary from Rs. 250/- to Rs. 450/- only per day.

T.B. Sanatorium: A 150 bed T.B. sanatorium, largest in South India and the Pioneering health complex of its kind and amongst the most well-maintained as up-to-date in the entire country. Seen In the picture is front view of Sanatorium OPD

A 60-bed maternity hospital which is free of costs, as is the social objective of KHI right from its inception. A family planning and free sterilisation programme is also undertaken with aid from central government.

Infrastructure and facilities for patients, attendants and inmates[edit]


  • Dharmashala, Convalescent homes, self-contained rooms.
  • Guest house and Cottages, Sp. Suites for patients (in the picture is Hardikar Cottage)
  • Reasonable rates at Rs.300/-to Rs.450/- per Day /accommodation in cottage.


  • 24-hour ambulance service
  • 3 well-equipped Ambulances
  • 1 minibus, 1 trax and 1 rickshaw
  • Affordable rates

Water and electricity: Independent water supply scheme, including

  • Jack well on bank of Ghataprabha river
  • 3 wells
  • 2 ground-level reservoirs
  • Pipeline network
  • Water tank (in the picture)


  • Post office
  • STD, ISD booths
  • Intercom connecting all departments
  • Wireless phones available on request for guests
  • Internet Network
  • Telephone Exchange donated by Indian Telephone Industries (in the picture)


  • 2 clean canteens, 1 pantry, 1 bakery
  • Fresh and nutritious food
  • Self-service
  • Low rates

Working Women’s Hostel for staff nurses (grant from Central Govt.)

  • Excellent hostel for 180 student nurses
  • Free food and accommodation is provided for nurses.

Staff quarters:

  • Free comfortable accommodation with 24 hour water and electricity.
  • Infrastructural facilities
  • Bread to Broom general shop


  • Up to VII standard free for all students
  • (Smt. Vimlabai Kulkarni Memorial School)

Bal-Bhawan and Children Club:

  • All-round development
  • Inculcation of life values
  • Better utilization of time


  • Separate building is provided with Special instruments for all types of exercises.
  • Pavilion for Sports and Yoga


  • Inspiring books – 20,000 +
  • Newspapers and magazines in English, Marathi and Kannada.


  • All materials and tools including electrical, sanitary, plumbing, construction, carpentry, and light automobile- general engineering.
  • Managed by experienced skilled workers
  • Generator Set donated by Kirloskar Electric Banglore.


External links[edit]