Maternal Child Health work was well advanced in this area. It was, therefore natural, that at the referral centre at J.A. Hospital a highly qualified Lady Doctor Miss Merchant F.R.C.S. (Later Prof. of Obst. & Gynae. at Lucknow ) was the head of this service. This arrangement continued until 1948 when Dr. Phatak was appointed Professor of Obstetrics & Gynaecology and Female Surgical Work transferred to General Surgery. Until the Kamla Raja Hospital was commissioned, the Gynaecology beds were clubbed with the female surgical beds and separate building accommodated 60 obstetric beds. In this background, the Kamla Raja Hospital was planned for women & children in memory of the Princess Kamla Raja who had died earlier. This hospital was planned to be an independent unit for Obst. & Gynae. services with 250 beds. This hospital was completed by 1951 as the first batch of the students of this college graduated. It was opened officially at the hands of the Late Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, Prime Minister of India on December 12, 1952.
In the newly constructed Kamla Raja Hospital, the Department of Obst. & Gynae. had 160 beds of which 32 were allotted to Gynaecological patients. The obstetric beds were divided into Ante natal, Pre-Labour, Septic and Pregnancy complication wards. Separate labour units for clean and emergency cases were available. An independent Obstetric Operation Theater with a viewing gallery is situated between the two sets of labour rooms. It has independent sterilisation areas. An isolated room nearby was reserved for cases of advanced toxaemia and eclampsia cases these were then not infrequent. The hospital is built around a courtyard through which are special back entrances to labour rooms for service facilities. Due to social circumstances, the male students could not enter the labour rooms through normal entry and therefore these boys were then brought into the labour units directly through the rear entrance.
The Gynaecology work is done entirely on the first floor in an independent operating theatre and two wards. Space is provided on the first floor for a clinical lecture theatre, office and a clinical laboratory also. The out-patients work was carried out in the Madhav Dispensary along with the general outpatients. From the beginning the department carried out special antenatal and postnatal clinics were also conducted for research purposes.
The teaching of Obstetrics and Gynaecology was spread over the third, fourth and fifth years of undergraduate training. They were posted for a total of six months and each student had to personally conduct 20 labour cases besides writing clinical notes of 5 abnormal cases. Efforts were made to get the students acquainted with pregnancy and labour by allocating the cases in obstetric wards and in ward clinics. They were then trained by history writing and also by examining the patients in their charge. Evening clinics was a routine. Quite a few brilliant boys e.g., S. K. Nair wished to do Post Graduate training in this subject. But in this part of the country 30 years ago, the prospects for a male Gynaecologist were not bright and they were not fully acceptable. Therefore, a majority of our postgraduate students then were girl students.
Detail record keeping of the patients account on the admission and on discharge was compulsory.
One R.M.O. was made responsible for this work. This was Dr. Mrs. Narmada Joshi. Later, all cases were entered on a specially printed punched cards for their analysis. With the first batch of graduates passing out, research programmes were initiated and a number of schemes under the I.C.M.R. were carried out. Some of the subjects were (1) Early Diagnosis of Pelvic Tuberculosis (2) Evaluation of Carcinoma Cervix and its surgical treatment. (3) Nutritional status of pregnant women etc.
The postgraduate students working as demonstrators, research officers or R.M.Os were practically trained to handle all obstetric emergencies and operations. They were also trained to perform independently all the routine gynaecological surgery. A clinical pathology laboratory was attached. This was used for the investigations done in the department. The central pathology laboratory did the higher investigations.
During 1954-55 Prof. R. J. Kellar of Edinburgh University visited the department in a Colombo Plan exchange programme.
A report existed between Kamla Raja Hospital and the peripheral maternity centres of Greater Gwalior. They referred cases to this hospital when it was necessary. Since the female medical wards were also accommodated in the same building a joint consultation in cases with medical complications, was easy with the cooperation of the senior colleagues in the department of medicine.
Department of Obst. & Gynae. cannot grow in isolation. A collaboration of medical, surgical and child specialists is essential. This was in abundance when we worked as a team for the cause of suffering women in Gwalior.
In early years Dr. M. Jadhav ( Mrs. Lokre ) worked as Reader in the Deptt. for nearly seven years. On her promotion the post was occupied successively by Mrs. Bhonsale, Dr. Wagle and Dr. Risbud for varying periods. The first Lecturer was Dr. Miss S. Jadhav ( Wadhalkar ). Later, DR. Wagle & Miss Risbud followed her Dr. Miss L. V. Phatak was the Professor & Head of the Dept. all these years.