IPGMER and SSKM Hospital

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Institute of Post-Graduate Medical Education and Research and Seth Sukhlal Karnani Memorial Hospital
IPGMER SSKM Woodburn.jpg
Type Medical College and Hospital
Established 1707
Location 244, Acharya Jagadish Chandra Bose Road,
Police Station - Bhowanipore
West Bengal, India
Affiliations West Bengal University of Health Sciences
Website www.ipgmer.gov.in

The Institute of Post-Graduate Medical Education and Research and Seth Sukhlal Karnani Memorial Hospital, colloquially known as P G Hospital (Presidency General Hospital) or SSKM Hospital is a tertiary referral government hospital for the state of West Bengal, India and is a national research institute.

Located near Race Course ground and the Victoria Memorial Hall of Kolkata, its locality is vibrant with urban cultural and historical landmarks like the Nandan complex, Rabindra Sadan, Academy of Fine Arts, the Saint Paul's Cathedral, the Red Road and the Indian Museum. It faces the Maidan of Kolkata - a hot-spot for political rallies in the city. The Bangur Institute of Neurosciences is adjacent and functionally attached to this institution.


The first hospital in Calcutta was built in the premises of the Old Fort at Gerstein Place in 1707. The Council of Fort William constructed this hospital. Initially built for the Europeans till 1770, this hospital was then known as the Presidency Hospital, after the Presidency of Calcutta and due to its proximity to the Presidency Jail of Calcutta. Later it came to be known as the "Presidency General Hospital" or "P.G. Hospital" for short - the name which is still commonly used. In independent India, the hospital was renamed as "Seth Sukhlal Karnani Memorial Hospital"in 1954 after great philanthropist of Calcutta, Seth Sukhlal Karnani.[1]

P.G. Hospital was established in 1770.[1] The East India Company (Calcutta Council) purchased the plot of land, which was a gardenhouse (in 1768) from Rev. John Zacharias Kiernander at a cost of Rs. 98900.00 along with an adjoining plot belonging to a Bengali Gentleman.[2]

Rev. John Zacharias Kiernander came to Bengal from Southern India in 1758 to work as the first Protestant missionary in Calcutta. The well known Old Mission Church (Bath Tephillah -'the House of Prayer'), built by him was the earliest favourite place of Protestant worship in Mission Row at his own expense at a cost of Rs. 65,000 and established a mission school in the rear of the Church in 1767. The Presidency General Hospital was established near the St. John's Church (presently, in 1, Garstin Place and in its adjoining areas) which was in famous as a hellish side.

According to Mrs. Bleshinden, "It was a veritable death-trap to those unfortunate who were driven to seek its shelter and had been the subject of constant complaint for years. At last in 1768. a house was purchased from a native gentleman for the purpose of a hospital. It stood to the south of the Maidan, practically in the country. This house with various alterations and additions, including two other buildings created in 1795 remained in us as the Presidency General Hospital".

The construction of the hospital started after the Government occupied the land on 20 June 1769. The west wing was completed on 2 April 1770 and the east wing on 2 June 1770. Admission of the patients started on 22 April 1770.

The plaque of the Presidency General Hospital, Kolkata.

The present Main Block was constructed between 1901–1902, the Woodburn Block, Administrative Building and Physiotherapy Building were built between 1902-1908. For construction of Woodburn block, total expense was Rs. 3.5 Lacs.

This hospital is the oldest general hospital in India, for the practice of modern medicine and for meaningful research.

It is mentioned in the book "The handbook of travellers in India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh & Sri Lanka" by L. F. Rushbrook Williams that, "On the Lower Circular Road, South of Victoria Memorial is the Presidency General Hospital (1768), formerly intended for Europeans. In its place The European business community has established a well found clinic of his own. The Station military hospital, conspicuous by its pillared frontage was (1773) the court house of Sardar Dewani Adalat, the Chief Provincial Court of Appeal which ceased to exist on the establishment of High Court in 1862".[3] From this record, it is quite evident that PG Hospital is a part, of world heritage, I am thankful to Calcutta Municipal Corporation and the Govt. of West. Bengal for declaring heritage status to this institution in response to my appeal dated 16.1.1998.[4]

This hospital has a glorious record of fundamental research in Medicine. Drs. Edward Hare, D.D. Cunnigham, Ronald Ross, T. H. Lewis, Ronald Martin did put their mark in medical treatment and research.

Sir Ronald Ross made his epoch-making-discovery of "Cycle of Malarial Parasite" in this hospital and was awarded Nobel Prize in Medicine and Physiology on 10 Dec 1902.[5] He also received the Barkley Bronze Memorial Medal from Asiatic Society, Calcutta on 20 May 1903, Sir Ronald Ross is the first Indian (born at Almorah) Nobel laureate. After his retirement from service on 31 July 1899, he visited PG Hospital in January 1927, when the "Gate of Commemoration" bearing his statue and poem in the plaque was unveiled by Lord Lytton.

Michael Madhusudan Dutta was the first native Indian to be admitted to this hospital on 22 June 1873 and here he died on 29 June 1873.

Dr. Surendranath Ghosh was the first native Indian doctor to be appointed in PG Hospital.[6] The first floor of the Woodburn Block was renamed as Dr. S. N. Ghosh Ward, by the then Chief minister Hon'ble Jyoti Basu following the publication of the article in PG Bulletin, along with a photograph of Dr. Ghosh and facsimile of his diary page. The first Indian doctor of the hospital has been bestowed with honour.

Jawaharlal Nehru inaugurating IPGMER.jpg

P.G. Hospital was the first Post Graduate Medical Institute in Eastern India in 1957 when it hospital came to be known as The Institute of Post Graduate Medical Education & Research (IPGMER). It was inaugurated by Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru, the then Prime Minister of India, on 16 January 1957.

Undergraduate medical training started here rather late in 2004 after clearance from the Medical Council Of India (MCI).

The erstwhile Chief minister, Hon'ble Jyoti Basu had pledged his body to the advancement of medical science. After his demise, honoring his wishes, his body was handed over to the college authorities. This move has triggered a wave of body donations in the state.[7]


One end of the premises contains various outpatient departments, wards and clinics, while the other comprises administrative a college buildings for medical and paramedical students. The wards include Curzon, Victoria, Alexander, etc. in the Main block, the O&G blocks. Other services are the out patient departments and wards of Chest, Cancer, Nephrology, etc. The teaching buildings are the UCM, Ronald Ross, Psychiatry building, Old Emergency Building, housing lecture theaters, museums and laboratories.

Affiliation and administration[edit]

The medical college is currently affiliated to the West Bengal University of Health Sciences. From 1857 to 2003, it was affiliated with the historic University of Calcutta. It is funded and run jointly by the state and central governments of India.

As of 26 June 2016:

  • Director: Prof Manju Banerjee, Director, IPGMER
  • MSVP: Prof. Manas Sarkar, MSVP
  • Dean of Student Affairs: Prof. Amal K Das, Dean of Student Affairs, IPGMER
  • Deputy Superintendent: Dr. Atindra Nath Mondal [8]

Courses offered[edit]

  • Post-Graduate Courses(Medical):
    • M.S. (Anatomy)
    • M.D. (Physiology)
    • M.D. (Biochemistry)
    • M.D. (Pharmacology)
    • M.D. (Pathology)
    • M.D. (Microbiology)
    • M.D. (General Medicine)
    • M.S. (General Surgery)
    • M.S. (Gynaecology & Obstetrics)
    • M.D. (Pulmonary Medicine)
    • M.D. (Anesthesiology)
    • M.S. (E.N.T.)
    • M.D. (Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation)
    • D.L.O. (E.N.T.)
    • D.A. (Anesthesiology)
    • D.M. (Cardiology)
    • D.M. (Nephrology)
    • D.M. (Endocrinology)
    • D.M. (Gastroenterology)
    • D.M. (Hepatology)
    • D.M. (Neurology)
    • D.M. (Rheumatology)
    • D.M. (Neonatology)
    • D.M. (Cardiac Anaesthesia)
    • M.Ch. (Plastic Surgery)
    • M.Ch. (Urology)
    • M.Ch. (Paediatric surgery)
    • M.Ch. (Cardiovascular & Thoracic Surgery)
    • M.Ch. (Neurosurgery)
  • Under-Graduate Course(Medical)
    • 1st+2nd+3rd Professional M.B.B.S. + Rotatory Internship
    • 1st+2nd+3rd+4th Professional B.P.T. + Rotatory Internship
  • Other Courses(Para-Medical)
    • General Nursing & Midwifery
    • Diploma in Medical Laboratory Technology
    • Diploma in Radio-Diagnosis Technology
    • Dialysis Technology
    • Diploma in Cath Lab Technician
    • Diploma in Perfusion Technician



The college and hospital have both been in the news for the wrong reasons of late due to the new MBBS course[9] and due to charges of negligence. In July 2012, the hospital came under severe criticism for allowing non-medical personnel to take up para medical care. A video footage of a sweeper stitching patient, brought to forefront the acute shortage of staff faced by the hospital.[10]

Renaming of the hospital: justification and validity[edit]

The P.G. Hospital underwent a silent and significant transformation with the independence of the country. Instead of catering to the medical needs mostly of the foreign community, the Hospital threw its Departments and Wards wide open to our countrymen who were in need of medical treatment. By shedding its exclusiveness, the Hospital gave a new dimension to its activities and embarked upon a new phase of service to the people at large.

Many of the great names in modern Medicine in this country have passed through the portals of this hospital and some have made epoch-making discoveries in its laboratories and wards. The annals of old Bengal are replete with frequent and meaningful references to the P.G. Hospital—the name by which this hospital was known to the people— both in this country and abroad.

Suddenly, in September 1954, the Government of West Bengal, by an executive fiat, renamed this 200-year-old premier hospital as the Seth Sukhlal Karnani Memorial Hospital. Since the P.G. Hospital did not bear the name of any number of the ex-Ruling Imperialist Class and since there was no public demand for this change-over, there was, in the opinion of this meeting, no compelling reason for discarding the name by which this Hospital was known throughout India and the outside World. The action was all the more reprehensible because this renaming was not after any eminent medical scientist or a leader of the people, as was done in the cases of some other institutions.

It has been claimed that this renaming was a corollary of a so-called "munificent donation" made by a trust or an individual. This meeting, however, rejects this plea in its entirety as being unreal and frivolous. The donation, was only a fraction of the total assets of this Hospital created over 200 years and would not even cover the running expenses for a year. That the acceptance of this donation in exchange for the hoary name of this Institution was not caused by an acute financial stringency is proved by the fact that the very next year, in 1955, the Government undertook a vast expansion scheme for this Hospital at a cost of Rs. 57 lakh.

The resolution adopted in a General Meeting of all sections of the staff of the P.G. Hospital (now IPGMER and SSKM Hospital), Calcutta held on 15.9.1969, as such, regards this action of Government in renaming this Hospital after a commercial tycoon in exchange for a donation of limited value as extremely objectionable, unethical and unprincipled.

This meeting therefore strongly urges upon the United Front Government to undo this wrong and to take immediate steps for restoration of the name "P.G. Hospital" to this Institution.

This meeting further urges upon the Government to effect this change by March. 1970, so as to make the proposed bi-centenary celebrations of the P.G. Hospital in April 1970 a really meaningful and memorable event.[11][12]


University and college rankings
Medical - India
India Today (2017)[13] 19

IPGMER was ranked 19th among medical colleges in India in 2017 by India Today.[13]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "IPGMER SSKM Hospital". Retrieved 18 October 2012. 
  2. ^ Consultations, 26 April 1768
  3. ^ L. F. Rushbrook Williams, The handbook of travellers in India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh & Sri Lanka
  4. ^ List of Premises that the CMC intends to include in the heritage list in terms of section 425B of CMC Act, 1980 (Amended) SI. No. 706, Page 90, Ward 70, Borough 8.
  5. ^ Ronald Ross - Biography
  6. ^ Prof, Subrata Sen, "Presidency General Hospital -Early Years" PG Bulletin (Vol. I. 16 January 1996)
  7. ^ [1] Body donation wave in Bengal after Basu's deed
  8. ^ IPGME&R website. http://www.ipgmer.gov.in/administration.html
  9. ^ MCI team to visit SSKM for MBBS course sanction-Kolkata -Cities-The Times of India
  10. ^ [2]
  11. ^ Dr. Ranen Dasgupta, "P.G. Hospital : Pride and Glory of Bengal" PG Bulletin, Issue 7. January 2000
  12. ^ Resolution adopted in a General Meeting of all sections of the staff of the P.G, Hospital (now SSKM Hospital) and IPGMER, Calcutta held on 15.9.1969.
  13. ^ a b "India's Best Colleges 2017: Medical". India Today. 2017. Retrieved 21 June 2017. 

External links[edit]