Lucknow: The Emerging Healthcare Hub in Northern India
Lucknow, also known as the City of Nawabs, has truly lived up to its tagline of “Muskuraiye ki aap Lucknow mein hain” (Smile because you are in Lucknow). Over the past four decades, Lucknow has transformed itself into a leading healthcare destination, attracting not only patients from the city itself but also from entire northern India and neighboring states. The city has become a hub for healthcare, medical education, and research, making it one of the most sought-after destinations for medical treatment.
The journey of Lucknow’s healthcare sector began in 1906 with the establishment of King George’s Medical College (KGMC), which later became King George’s Medical University (KGMU). KGMC welcomed its first batch of medical students in 1911 with a modest bed strength of 232. At that time, Balrampur Hospital was the only other medical facility in the region. However, the healthcare landscape in Lucknow witnessed significant advancements over the years.
In 1983, the state-of-the-art Sanjay Gandhi Postgraduate Institute of Medical Sciences (SGPGIMS) was established, becoming one of India’s largest medical institutes. SGPGIMS offers postgraduate and super-specialty courses in various medical disciplines, with a focus on cutting-edge research and remarkable contributions to medical science. The city also witnessed the establishment of several district hospitals, expanding healthcare accessibility.
One of the prominent medical institutes in Lucknow is the Ram Manohar Lohia Institute of Medical Sciences (RMLIMS), offering specialty care to patients from across Uttar Pradesh. Additionally, the Kalyan Singh Super Speciality Cancer Institute and Hospital, with its 750 beds, has been providing advanced cancer care since its establishment.
Lucknow’s healthcare sector has also seen a surge in private hospitals, including Sahara Hospital, Medanta, Health City Hospital, Apollomedics, Charak Hospital, and Chandan Hospital. These private hospitals have brought world-class healthcare facilities to the city, catering to thousands of patients.
Despite the remarkable growth, the city faced a medical oxygen crisis during the second wave of the pandemic. However, the authorities have learned from their mistakes and taken steps to ensure self-reliance in the healthcare sector. Lucknow now has 19 oxygen generation plants in government hospitals and health centers, producing a total of 15,338 liters per minute. Additionally, KGMC, RMLIMS, and SGPGIMS have large-capacity plants, producing 2.1 lakh liters of oxygen per minute.
The city has also witnessed an increase in the number of Intensive Care Units (ICUs) and High Dependency Units (HDUs) in government and private hospitals, catering to the treatment of critical and serious COVID-19 patients.
Lucknow’s healthcare journey is not limited to allopathy alone. The city has embraced alternative medicine practices such as Ayurveda, homeopathy, and naturopathy, offering patients a comprehensive approach to healthcare.
Furthermore, Lucknow has leveraged digital health technologies to bridge the healthcare gap and make quality medical services more accessible. Telemedicine services have played a crucial role in enabling patients in remote areas to access medical consultations and expertise from specialists based in the city.
However, Lucknow still faces challenges due to rapid urbanization and a growing population. Efforts are being made to improve the doctor-patient ratio and establish new medical facilities, particularly in rural areas, to make healthcare services more accessible.
Lucknow has truly become a healthcare hub in northern India, attracting patients from far and wide. With continuous innovation, strategic planning, and the collective efforts of medical professionals and government authorities, Lucknow is set to overcome these challenges and further enhance its position as a leading healthcare destination.