Updated: Jan 18
"It was an amazing experience to see how the Base Hospital works and the caring and the efforts put in by the entire staff." –MS Dhoni on his visit to the hospital on 4th of July, 2012.
"It was a dark, freezing, December night. We were in the midst of enemy action. I suddenly felt something hit my body, and then an excruciating pain in my chest. An enemy's bullet had hit me. I felt dizzy; the Regimental Medical Officer rushed towards me with the first-aid. I heard him ask for an urgent heli-evacuation base Hospital. The distant sound of the rotors of the approaching helicopter kept getting louder. The next thing I remember is waking up amidst the beeping machines and some doctors and nurses standing near my bed. They were smiling as I regained consciousness after two days; assuring me that I would be all right now. I could see multiple tubes in my body, most of which was covered with bandages. They told me that I had sustained two gunshot wounds during the enemy action. One bullet had pierced my chest; the other went through my thigh, after which I fell unconscious. How can I survive two bullets ripping through my body? With no hope, I could feel myself losing grip on my life. But I remembered the saying in our unit that "once an injured soldier reaches 92 BH, he will survive". Thence, I would only ruminate and pray for the same. Utter dedication, professionalism, empathy and care by team 92 BH brought me on the path of recovery. In a few days, I was out of the ICU and shifted to the surgical ward with things getting better every day."
The above story of a soldier posted in a forward area in Kashmir valley perfectly portrays the importance of 92 BH for all the deployed troops in the valley. It offers physical, mental and spiritual treatment to its patients. Ex-President of India, Late A P J Abdul Kalam, on his visit to 92 BH, said, "This hospital is a temple of healing."
The anecdotes and short tales of 92 Base Hospital dates back to the World War II. It came into existence on 10th of September, 1942 at Rawalpindi. After multiple relocations across the nation, finally 92 General Hospital as it was known in the past, was renamed as Base Hospital and was established after merging several military hospitals in the vicinity at Badami Bagh Cantonment in the heart of Srinagar. It has provided unsurpassed medical and surgical care during peace and wartime. However, since 1989 this hospital has been very active in giving special care to militancy-related casualties viz Army, BSF, CRPF, ITBP, CISF, CAPF, J&K Police and civil population. This hospital's reputation for extraordinary professional competence is a great morale booster for the casualties caused by anti-national elements.
Whenever there is any casualty evacuation, the designated team informs the trauma care centre which is activated immediately. Time is precious in such cases; at every juncture, dedicated teams perform the task detailed to them. From receiving the patient to the treatment bed of the trauma care centre, minimal time and maximal effort are put in by staff at all levels.
After initial resuscitation and examination by the medical officers and specialists, the surgical team immediately performs life and limb saving surgeries in well-equipped operation theatres. The corridors of 92 BH can recount many stories of restoring the precious lives of our brave hearts in the last 80 years. From playing a pivotal role in the 1971 Indo-Pak War and all the wars between India and Pakistan, to giving medical cover during Amarnath yatra every year and ongoing counter-insurgency operations, 92 Base Hospital has come a long way in treating the deceased and has been a healing hand to the Kashmir Valley.
While the whole of India and its medical fraternity were immersed and engaged in COVID-19 care, 92 Base Hospital was not left behind. It became one of the few institutes with the lowest mortality rates owing to the dedication of its COVID warriors. It also works as a partial COVID hospital with separate wards and ICUs for treatment/isolation of patients. The doctors and nurses have successfully managed the dual challenge of combat trauma and COVID-19 pandemic.
92 Base Hospital has made indelible impressions in the pages of history and has been a healers’ abode for the people of Kashmir and thousands of those who were treated there and successfully recovered could vouch for this statement. The impeccable ethos, work culture, and unremitting dedication at 92 BH have yielded very low mortality and superior outcomes. The medical staff at the hospital have been performing their duties with utmost sincerity . No doubt, it fulfills, with pride and dedication, the responsibility of being the lifeline of soldiers and para-military forces in the valley. It has touched hearts while saving lives.
Dr Sanjay Maurya