The 1,080-bed Command Hospital (Southern Command) in Pune – the largest hospital in the armed forces – is likely to be upgraded to a Army Hospital, Research and Referral, South. While Army Hospital Research and Referral at New Delhi is the flagship of Armed Forces Medical Services providing cutting-edge services and has several super-speciality departments with advanced medical technology, a proposal to upgrade the Command Hospital (Southern Command) to the same status is now with the Ministry of Defence.
In an exclusive interview with The Indian Express, Major General A Chakravarty, Commandant, Command Hospital, said the proposal to upgrade Command hospital along the lines of Army Hospital R& R has been sent to the Ministry of Defence. An upgrade would include inducting trained manpower and setting up super-speciality departments with state-of-the-art medical equipment. The Command Hospital has 66 performance indicators and the “outcome measures” are monitored each month, said the Commandant. “Most of our performances are beyond the national standard,’’ said General Chakravarty.
A major push is also on to complete the construction of the Rs 386-crore upgraded Command Hospital at Kondhwa, where the current facility is expected to shift within two years, said hospital authorities. Set up in 1869 as the British Military hospital at Wanowrie, the institute was re-designated the Command Hospital (Southern Command) in 1967. The hospital is spread across 103 acres, has 32 buildings and also serves as an integrated teaching and training centre for under-graduate, post-graduate, nursing and paramedic courses.
Some renovation projects have been undertaken at the hospital, where the buildings are over a 100 years old, but there are some structures that still don’t have seepage problems in the monsoon. The hospital relocation project — including a modernised multi-storeyed building, podiums and various super-speciality departments — was designed way back in 2000.
The hospital building was to be constructed near the Military Hospital-Cardio Thoracic Centre (MH-CTC), Kondhwa, and an underground tunnel was supposed to transport patients from one hospital to the other. The initial cost, Rs 270 crore, was revised later due to structural and technological changes.
Over the years, the ambitious project required several clearances and after the revised estimates, work on the project finally started in 2013. While most of the work is over, the project is likely to take another two years to be completed, said General Chakravarty.