|The Lady Hardinge Medical College for women was founded in 1914 to commemorate the visit of Her Majesty Queen Mary in 1911-12. Lady Hardinge the wife of the then viceroy was the first to take initiative for starting a medical college for women, as the lack of separate medical college for women made it almost impossible for Indian women to study medicine.
The foundation stone of this institution was laid by Lady Hardinge on 17th March, 1914. Unfortunately this great lady died later in the same year and on the suggestion of Queen Mary the college and the hospital was named after Lady Hardinge to perpetuate the memory of its founder.
The college and hospital was formally opened by Lord Hardinge the then viceroy of India on 17th February 1916. The close association of countess of Dufferin Fund Council continued over many years and senior teaching staff almost exclusively consisted of its members till India became independent.
The college started under the able leadership of Dr. Kate Platt, who was the first Principal of the college. The duration of course covered a period of 7 years including 2 years of pre-medical intermediate science course or Punjab University. The students had to travel all the way to Lahore for their examination and to compete with the students of the Kind Edward Medical College, Lahore. The premedical science departments were closed in 1935, thus reducing the course in the college from 7 years to 5 years. In 1960 rotating internship was introduced for 6 months. The MBBS course was reduced from 5 years to 41/2 years in 1964 with compulsory internship of one year.
The number of admissions to the first year was increased gradually from 16 per year in 1916 to 60 in 1956. In 1961 the admissions were increased to 100 and were further raised to 130 in 1970. To implement the Central Educational Institution (Reservation In Admission) Act 2006 LHMC increased under graduate admissions to 150 in 2008 and is likely to be further increased to 200 in the coming year.
Since 1950, the college has been affiliated to University of Delhi. In view of considerable demand for post-graduate students, post-graduate courses were started in 1954 in affiliation with Punjab University and later on with University of Delhi in 1956. To start with only female post-graduate students were admitted, but since 1970 both males and female students are being enrolled for various postgraduate courses. Presently LHMC is admitting 92 PG candidates. Post Graduate admission will be increased in the coming years to implement OBC reservation.
Starting in 1916 with only 80 beds for the departments of Medicine, Obstetrics and gynecology, LHMC has now a bed strength of 877 beds in Smt. S.K. Hospital and 370 beds in Kalawati Saran Children Hospital. A separate outpatient block was started in 1958 to cater to the needs of ever increasing population of Delhi.
Kalawati Saran Children Hospital was established on 17th March 1956 as a center of excellence in paediatric care and research. At the outset it had only 50 beds, gradually by 1994 the bed strength was increased to 350 and presently there are 370 beds in KSCH. It has the largest Neonatal wing in Delhi with 84 beds. The opening of Indo-Japan new block has augmented various medical facilities for the patients. The Hospital is poised to play a pivotal role in the health care for the future generations of our country.
Training school for nurses starteds modestly in 1916 with 11 probationers admitted to the school every year. The school was further expanded to admit 50 students. The School was upgraded to Nursing College in 2007.
For further reading:
The National Medical Journal of India 11(2): 97-100, 1998.