About Kotagiri Medical Fellowship Hospital
Kotagiri Medical Fellowship Hospital is a charitable Christian mission hospital in the town of Kotagiri that was established in the year 1941 to provide healthcare of the highest quality to the people of the Nilgiris.
The hospital is a registered charitable institution with highly qualified doctors and staff in different specialties including internal medicine, general surgery, pediatrics, neurology / neurosurgery, ophthalmology and pediatrics. Besides the regular outpatient and surgical facilities, the ICU and Emergency services provide round the clock medical care. The hospital also reaches out to the surrounding community through outreach medical programmes and palliative care services.
The hospital is currently managed by Christian Medical College, Vellore.
BRIEF HISTORY AND OVERVIEW
Kotagiri Medical Fellowship hospital (KMF) is a 50-bedded hospital in the town of Kotagiri, located in the hilly Nilgiris district of Tamilnadu, India. KMF was started by a couple of intrepid women missionaries from England, Ms Monica Sutton and Ms Vera Nowell. Convinced of the need for medical work among the people in the hills, the two women moved to Kotagiri in 1937. The same year they repaired an abandoned cowshed on the plot of land they had bought, and with the help of a couple of locals converted it into a dispensary with an operating table. In the same year of 1937, Dr Pauline Jeffrey who was working at CMC Vellore contracted tuberculosis and was sent by Dr Ida Scudder to recuperate in Kotagiri. Burdened with the need of the region these three pioneers joined to consider organizing a regular medical work. In 1942, Dr Lydia Herlufsen, a general practitioner from Denmark joined KMF while she was stranded in India during the war and the hospital grew steadily from then. It was particularly known as an ‘Eye-hospital’ because of the excellent service provided by Dr Jeffrey. The hospital had grown since 1941 from a cowshed to have several blocks of buildings. The hospital reached a peak under the leadership of Dr Ashok Philip Oommen between 1980 and 1995. Following his period, there was a gradual decline in the affairs of the institution due to several reasons.
However, with the gradual decline in the hospital’s function, the management of the Trust approached CMC, Vellore to help revive the hospital and in 2017 KMF was taken over by the Christian Medical College (CMC), Vellore. After a formal take-over in August 2017, CMC has been striving to revive the hospital and its activities in the community around it. With CMC’s involvement, the hospital has shown signs of recovery, with a gradual but steady increase in patient numbers.
At present, there are 7 full-time doctors at the hospital:
Dr Lydia John, MD (Physician, Infectious disease)
Dr Koshy C. George, DCH; MD (Pediatrics)
Dr Jason Thomas, DNB (Family Medicine)
Dr Tony Abraham Thomas, MCh (Neurosurgery)
Dr Kamalakar K., MS (Orthopedics)
Dr Jane C. Joy, MS (Ophthalmology)
Dr Ancy Abraham, DCP, MD (Clinical pathology, Transfusion medicine)
We see patients with major illnesses like myocardial infarction, stroke, major fractures etc. and the Emergency room is open 24x7. Specialists from CMC Vellore come to visit and regular medical consultations are being held. Vascular surgeons were invited to address the problem of varicose veins and there has been an overwhelming response, with some endovascular laser surgeries being performed, and more procedures planned in the future. There are regular visiting consultants in the field of Pulmonary medicine, ENT, Diabetes, Geriatrics and other specialities, from CMC Vellore and elsewhere. Home visits have started in the last 3 months, and a community programme is being planned.