Current Medical Issues

: 2022  |  Volume : 20  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 213--214

The Rapid expansion of Christian Medical College, Vellore

Kundavaram Paul Prabhakar Abhilash 
 Department of Emergency Medicine, Christian Medical College, Vellore, Tamil Nadu, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr Kundavaram Paul Prabhakar Abhilash
Department of Emergency Medicine, Christian Medical College, Vellore - 632 004, Tamil Nadu

How to cite this article:
Abhilash KP. The Rapid expansion of Christian Medical College, Vellore.Curr Med Issues 2022;20:213-214

How to cite this URL:
Abhilash KP. The Rapid expansion of Christian Medical College, Vellore. Curr Med Issues [serial online] 2022 [cited 2022 Dec 3 ];20:213-214
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The Christian Medical College (CMC), Vellore, is a leading, tertiary-level medical institution, renowned both nationally and internationally. In the year 1894, Dr. Ida Sophia Scudder, the founder of CMC Vellore, answered God's call to respond to the desperate need for health care in our country when she personally encountered the deaths of 3 young girls in childbirth in the course of one night. After her training at Cornell Medical College, New York, United States, she started her medical work with a tiny dispensary in Vellore in 1900, expanding to a small hospital within a year, a nursing school in 9 years, and finally a medical school for women after 18 years, in 1942. The medical school was started with a handful of teachers, rented buildings, and 16 students and gradually grew in size with the help of faculty from India and abroad, many of who gave up their personal dreams and careers to help build the college. It was no ordinary medical college they wanted to build: the vision of Dr. Ida Scudder and her team was to develop a college that would train doctors who were not only professionally excellent but also compassionate, ethical, and capable of the best possible research and most importantly – sensitive to the needs of the disadvantaged and marginalized: in short – doctors who were relevant to the needs of our country. For more than a century, CMC Vellore has remained true to this original vision.

The Medical College Campus on the southern outskirts of Vellore city, Bagayam is a 200-acre wooded site at the foot of college hill. Built in 1932, it remains, as originally envisaged, a residential community where students and staff can study and reside in serene and beautiful surroundings.[1] This campus is the hub for the medical college, MBBS, and allied health students. Furthermore, on the campus, there are three clinical services (community health department with the CHAD hospital started in 1957, mental health center and physical medicine and rehabilitation department) and a large residential community for medical staff.

The main hospital is situated in the 19-acre Town Campus (earlier referred to as the Thottapalayam Campus) in the heart of Vellore city. The hospital complex is the site for clinical training for all the students. The vast majority of the clinical departments are located on the hospital campus. The main hospital caters to 9000 plus outpatient visits every day in addition to the 2800 inpatients.[1]

The Schell Eye Hospital campus is situated in Vellore town and is about 2 km from the town campus. Apart from the department of ophthalmology, it also houses the Low-Cost Effective Care Unit (LCECU) of the department of family medicine. The LCECU was started on December 1982, in response to the needs of the poor in Vellore town.

In December 2009, the centenary year for nursing education in CMC Vellore, the College of Nursing moved out of the main hospital premises to a sprawling new campus in Kagithapattarai, very close to the hospital. The Nursing Campus includes, apart from the College of Nursing, hostels for student nurses, administrative offices, spacious classrooms, a digital library, conference room and a chapel, and surrounding airy courtyards.

The Rural Unit for Health and Social Affairs (RUHSA) was started by CMC in 1977 as a response to the felt need for providing health-care services to a most backward rural development block in the Vellore district, the K V Kuppam Block. The RUHSA reaches out to the people of K. V. Kuppam rural development block, one of 21 blocks in the Vellore district, and to a lesser extent the neighboring blocks, through its 70-bed community health center and 23 outreach health centers.[2]

To cater to the needs of the growing population from neighboring Andhra state, CMC Vellore, branched out its services as an exclusive hospital campus at Chittoor in Andhra Pradesh since the year 2011. The CMC Vellore, Chittoor campus is located around 29 km away from CMC Vellore hospital. This campus is growing rapidly with modern infrastructure and amenities to emerge as a referral hospital in Chittoor, Andhra Pradesh. The campus has 120 beds and four state-of-the-art operation theaters surgical equipment and advanced anesthesia machines, which have been fully operational since September 2016. The CMC Vellore, Chittoor campus offers comprehensive medical care to patients under 26 specialty departments, including a vibrant community outreach program. Specialty surgeries including pediatric surgery, orthopedics, orthopedic oncology, spine, dental surgery, endocrine surgery, obstetrics, gynecology, etc., are also performed here.

The CMC Vellore, Ranipet Campus was started in June 2022. Phase 1 of the project includes 1500 beds that provide quaternary medical and surgical services. The facility is equipped with a 60 bed emergency department, 35 operating theaters, 250 intensive care unit beds, cancer services, cardiac catheterization laboratories, 29 bone marrow transplant unit beds, well-equipped blood storage and donor facility, 50 dialysis beds, high-end diagnostic and therapeutic radiology, and state-of-the-art laboratories. The facility would provide comprehensive trauma care to address the recent epidemic of road traffic accidents and bring about locally relevant and comprehensive health-care solutions for victims of accidents. The trauma care center would provide 24-h emergency services and would be supported by a fully equipped radiology suite; six collocated operating theaters and two intensive care units with 29 beds dedicated to accident victims. The Ranipet Campus was earlier used during the first two waves of the COVID pandemic as a surge facility at the request of the district administration.[3]

As part of Phase 2, a 350-bed pediatric specialty center is planned with support from Fairfax Financial Holdings and Quess Corp. There is also a proposal to create a research and innovation block to enhance the institutional research capacity.[1]

CMC Vellore over the years has evolved and continues to be a pioneer in quality medical service. From a single-bedded clinic in 1900, this health-care organization evolved into a network of primary, secondary, tertiary, and quaternary care hospitals, with around 4500 beds spread across eight campuses in and around Vellore. The growth of CMC has been rapid yet remarkable through the guidance of our God Almighty. CMC strives to give its best in continuing the work of Dr. Ida Scudder by providing holistic care with state-of-the-art equipment in a compassionate environment.


1CMC Vellore. Available from: [Last accessed on 2022 Sep 14].
2B S. RUHSA – Give CMC – Outreach & Projects. Give CMC; 2020. Available from: [Last accessed on 2022 Sep 14].
3CMC Vellore. Available from: [Last accessed on 2022 Sep 14].