Department of Health and Medical Education is aimed at bringing about dramatic improvement in the health system and the Health status of people especially those living in rural areas of the country . It seeks to provide access to equitable , affordable and quality health care , reduction of IMR and MMR, population stabilization and gender and demographic balance which in turn help in achieving goals . Department Mission is on empowering people through effective mechanism of NRHM, Rogi kalyan Samiti etc . Decentralized planning and implementation , strengthening of physical infrastructure and ensuring fully functional facilities at the doorsteps of the people not withstanding odds of topography and situational constraints

The first Kashmir State Dispensary was started in the late 1860’s. This was to be the forerunner of the State Medical Service. In 1895, Walter Lawrence reported that the State maintained “one excellent hospital in Srinagar and six dispensaries, three of which are situated in the districts” The State Hospital, situated at Hazuri Bagh, was managed by Rai Bahadur Dr. A. Mitra as its first Chief Medical Officer. He later served as Public Works Minister on the Maharajah’s State Council. It was initially known as the Maharaja’s Hospital and later as the Sadar or State Hospital. British Residency Surgeons acted as Superintending Surgeons to this Hospital. Of the diseases treated in the State Hospital and the dispensaries, the following were the most common: fevers, syphilitic diseases, rheumatic affections, nervous system diseases, eye diseases, respiratory diseases, dyspepsia. diseases of the digestive system, connective tissue and skin diseases. Venerea` diseases formed 25 per cent of the surgical cases. Walter Lawrence also reported that excellent sur,a instruments were being manufactured in Kashmir and instruments in use in the State Hospital were manufactured In 1891-92, the State Medical Services treated 122,960 out-patients and 615 in-patients 2.188 surgical operations were performed, of which 283 were major surgeries. In 1892-93, 146 mental health patients were treated at an asylum connected with the Srinagar Jail.

The Diamond Jubilee Zenana Hospital at Nawakadal was built in 1897 to celebrate 60 years of Queen Victoria’s reign. Obstetrics & Gynecology Services were shifted here from the State Hospital. At present the Govt Girls College for Women Nawakadal Srinagar stands at the riverside location of the erstwhile Diamond Jubilee Zenana Hospital. An X-ray plant was installed in the State Hospital in 1913-14 and a dental wing was opened in January 1930. In 1929 a Sanatorium for patients suffering from Tuberculosis was set up in Tangmarg.

In 1940 several important schemes to provide better health care facilities were introduced in Kashmir, including the construction of a major hospital comparable with the best medical institutions. The estate of Hadow Mills Carpet Factory was acquired for the purpose, and the foundation stone of the State Hospital (SMHS) was laid by the Marquis of Linlithgow, the then Viceroy of India on October 15, 1940. The hospital was inaugurated by his successor, Lord Wave!’ on 11th of October 1945.

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