The Army Medical Corps its 250th Anniversary on 01 Jan 2014 and walk down memory lane to recollect the multifaceted changes through which this Corps has evolved to its present commendable status. In embracing the Mission Statement of the Corps ‘3C Through 3C’, from Combat to Comprehensive Care through Complete Career Concept, the Armed Forces Medical Services are moving towards an All Specialist Corps to provide specialist medical care to its clientele at all tiers. The flagship medical unit of the Armed Forces Medical Services in the Northern Command, Command Hospital Northern Command, located in Counter Insurgency(CI) Operational area also readies itself to bask in its glorious history of professional excellence, a cutting edge infrastructure for provision of contemporary tertiary level healthcare and relive the nostalgia of its transformation and achievements.
This hospital was raised as 148 Indian General Hospital at Lucknow in Jul 1948 and moved to Udhampur in Dec 1948. It was further restructured as 148 Base Hospital on 15 Jul 1970 and redesigned as Command Hospital Northern Command on 12 Apr 1989.
This Command Hospital has the unique distinction of being the only tertiary care hospital of the Armed Forces Medical Services to be deployed in CI Ops and narrates the saga of combat Medical support to the Indian Army since its inception. The hospital has taken active participation in various operations. A large number of Casualties/Battle Accidents with life threatening injuries have been successfully managed in this hospital. The hospital was awarded the coveted Raksha Mantri Trophy for being the best Command Hospital of the Armed Forces in years 2001 and 2006. In Jan 2007 the hospital was awarded Unit Appreciation by GOC-in-C Northern Command for its commendable performance of exceptionally high order in Jammu & Kashmir.
This hospital boasts of a fully equipped 13 bedded Intensive Care Unit with specialists in Critical care manning the hospital round the clock. The ICU of this premier hospital with a state of the art infrastructure is the lifeline for advanced life support in the state of J&K. An advanced licensed Blood bank with facilities to provide component therapy is a game changer for this super speciality hospital. Blood donation camps are routinely carried out from time to time to ensure easy availability of blood and blood products.
The hospital laboratory and pathology services provide for fully automated Haematology and biochemistry analysis; Molecular Biology tests based on the Polymerase Chain Reaction are routinely carried out. The laboratory is completely automated with the state of the art automated Microbiology and Serology analysis. Histopathology remains the mainstay of diagnosis in malignancies and the laboratory boasts of advanced Immunohistochemistry facilities which are available only in a few laboratories in this country. The dept of Imaging and Radio diagnosis is armed with advanced radiology equipment with C Arms and fluoroscopy, besides conventional ultrasound, Colour Doppler, a 16 slice CT machine and MRI with advanced resolution.
An ideal blend of super speciality centres in both Medicine (Cardiology, Neurology, Endocrinology and Gastroenterology) and Surgery ( Joint replacement centre, Orthopaedics and advanced arthroscopy, Urology, Neurosurgery and Gastroenterology surgery, Plastic Surgery and Paediatric surgery) provide comprehensive & holistic healthcare to the clientele. The cardiology centre provides state-of-the-art non-invasive management of cardiac emergencies as well as chronic cardiac cases. A cardiac cath-lab is likely to be installed in this hospital soon which shall provide the much awaited cutting-edge technology.
The other basic specialities like ENT, Ophthalmology, Obs & Gynae, Psychiatry, Dermatology and Accident & Emergencies with its Critical care centre remain the Achilles tendon of the Hospital. The Gynaecology and Paediatric centres provide the ideal mother-and-child care, being equipped with the latest neonatal intensive care unit and a PICU set up. This hospital has embraced the philosophy that prevention is better than cure and Cancer detection camps and Well women clinics are routinely done for the dependant clientele to provide health education and screening for many possible disorders and diseases in the reproductive age group.
This hospital has the exception of having the ideal ambience in a pollution free environment with its wards and departments spread over a large eco-friendly expanse. The various speciality and super specialty departments are linked for convenience of the clientele. The work culture and ethos of this hospital is a blend of patient and disabled friendly values leading to high levels of satisfaction by its clientele. The infrastructure including equipment and treatment facilities are comparable to the best in the country despite this hospital being located in a CI/CT environs.
This hospital has a rich legacy of being commanded by extremely illustrious and accomplished leaders in the past. Maj Gen Bipin Puri ,the present Commandant leads a very committed, dynamic and vibrant team of specialists and super specialists in this premier multispecialty Hospital. Every year, the hospital’s outreach programs, under the aegis of OP SADBHAVANA, a brainchild of HQ Northern Command, has attempted to provide contemporary tertiary level health care to the civil populace in the remotest corners of J&K. The Corps motto of ‘Sarve Santu Niramaya’ is practiced in totality by the Doctors and Nursing officers of the hospital who have been rendering yeoman service towards the health care of troops, families, dependants veterans and the AWAAM. At Command Hospital (Northern Command) Excellence through Professionalism is the keyword.