The hospital was established in 1869. It was one of three military hospitals established at and around Poona in the same year. It was initially the British Military Hospital, Wanowrie. It was built to cater to the British troops of the garrison as part of the station hospital system. The two other hospitals established nearby were at Dinkirk Llines (now Kirkee) and Ghorpadi Lines.
All three 100 bedded hospitals were used for convalescence of British troops, injured in the two world wars. The salubrious climate of Poona did much to hasten recovery. The location of Military Hospital, Wanowrie is presently occupied by the upper wing and main office building of Command Hospital (Southern Command). The lower wing of the Command Hospital presently occupies six large buildings that were referred to as the “Connaught Barracks” and originally housed troops of the Poona garrison. The Malignant Diseases Treatment Centre occupies the first building specially constructed as a ward for Military Hospital, Wanowrie in 1869.
On 01 Dec 1947, the three hospitals were amalgamated into a single hospital. The new hospital was designated Military Hospital, Poona on 01 Jan 1948. The hospital was re-designated as Command Hospital (Southern Command) on 08 April 1967. It is spread over 105 acres of land. Command Hospital(Southern Command) is the largest hospital of the Indian Army. The hospital acquitted itself with great distinction during OP Pawan in Srilanka by treating 868 casualties. It has also provided medical aid during natural calamities such as the earthquakes at Bhuj and Latur, floods at Sangli and the Tsunami in Southern India.
The following description attempt to highlight certain faculties that make Command Hospital (Southern Command) a mega-tertiary care hospital in quest of perfection.
Department of Neurosurgery
It was established in January 1963. Facilities include micro-neurosurgery and radio frequency ablation. The first national facility for stem cell therapy in cases of spinal cord injury has been started. The department has performed “Awake Craniotomy” for seizure with intracranial mass lesion, insertion of a device for inter-vertebral assisted motion for chronic low backache, cervical disc replacement and artificial lumbar disc implantation.
Department of Urology
It was established in 1976. Apart from a Urodynamics laboratory and Dornier ESWL machine there is a Urology operation theatre. Renal transplantation was started in Mar 2007 and 5 transplants have been carried out during 2007. It also provides facilities such as Urolaparoscopy, ESWL, Endourology, Reconstructive Urology, Andrology & Urogynaecology, Uro-Oncology, Neurourology, Paediatric Urology and management of Spinal Cord Injury patients.
Malignant Diseases Treatment Centre(MDTC)
It was established on 23 July 1973. It provides comprehensive multi-modality cancer care with departments of Medical Oncology, Surgical Oncology and Radiation Oncology. Facilities include laser surgery, altered fraction radiotherapy, concomitant chemo-radiotherapy, brachytherapy and autologous stem cell transplants. Recent improvements include a fibreoptic laryngoscopy facility, Cavitron Ultrasonic aspirator, Argon beam Laser and Aphresis machine. The centre specializes in organ / function preservation & restoration surgery.
Department of Plastic Surgery
It was established in 1955 and was one of the first of its kind in India. It is a recognized centre for management of Brachial Plexus Injuries. The facilities include day care surgery (Aesthetic Surgery), Cleft counseling centre, Craniofacial unit, Hand surgery unit, Burns unit and Micirosurgical unit for microvascular free flaps, microneural and replant surgery.
Department of Nuclear Medicine
It was established in Dec 2002. It has Dual head SPECT Gamma Camera and PC Based Thyroid uptake system. It is recognized by Atomic Energy Regulatory Board. It carries out Myocardial Perfusion Studies, Whole Body Bone Scan, Radioactive uptake Studies, DTPA – GF Rate, GHA/TMSA Cortical Scan, Lung Perfusion Scan, Liver/Hepato-Biliary Scans, ECD Brain Scan and GI Bleed Scans.