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Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, St. John's Medical College Hospital, Bangalore

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PMR at St. John's Medical College & Hospital

History of the department

The Governing Board of St. John's Medical College & Hospital created the PMR Department at St. John's in April 1998 following an internal need assessment. The creation of the PMR Department was also partly in response to an urgent external request by the Medical Council of India to implement an earlier Government order to start a PMR Department in every Medical College . At the time the PMR Department came into existence at St. John's Hospital, there were only 14 out of 140 medical colleges which had a PMR department.

During its short existence over the past 3 years, the PMR department of St. John's can pride itself of a number of successes including the fact that manypatients with no power in their legs were walking. Thus the department mission was borne:

Paraplegics are Walking,
Amputees will Run

Key statistics for the department

Patients and treatments

The current PMR department is organised to cater 3 different types of patients:

Type of patients 

Number of patients/ treatments

PMR in-patients

150 patients/year

PMR out-patients

1500 patients/ year

Patients from other St. John's departments requiring Physiotherapy and Occupational Therapy

40,000 treatments/ year
(5,000 patients)

The average duration of stay for a PMR inpatient is 50 days.

The causes for hospitalisation are distributed as follows :

Cause for hospitlisation

 Percentage of patients

Spinal Cord Injury (SCI)


Cerebral Palsy











Currently the PMR team is made up as follows:
3 Doctors
6 Physiotherapists + 5 Trainees
3 Occupational therapists
4 Staff nurses
1 Social worker
4 Outpatient nursing staff

Bed Capacity

20 common beds (free of charge)
Private beds - as required and available


About 45 surgeries are carried out per year. Though small in absolute numbers, in a number of  patients, about 2 to 8 surgical procedures are performed. The reason for performing multiple surgeries is two-fold:

1. To reduce costs to the patient

2. To hasten the rehabilitation process

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Social aspects

In line with St. John's general humanitarian mission, the PMR department has made special efforts to make its services accessible for the poor. This is especially important since poor people (e.g. coolie workers, agricultural workers and construction workers) are more likely to meet with disabling accidents than the general population. The department meets the cost of subsidised care to poorer patients in the common ward by charging higher amounts for richer patients in the private ward. Over the fiscal year 2000 -2001 80% of the patients were in the common ward and 20%was in the private ward.

Common ward patients are supported in the following ways:

  • Bed charges are waived

  • Operation and treatment charges are considerably lower than for private patients

  • On an average 30% of common patients' bills are waived by special concessions

Where the hospital's means are insufficient to completely meet the patient's financial needs, help is given by the social worker to apply for aids from various outside agencies. For instance, the social worker may apply for subsidy to buy a wheelchair for a patient.

Besides this financial support, St. John's does much more to cater to the needs of poorer patients. Much emphasis is being put on using the simplest methods to train the patients, so that they will be able to continue the training in their home situations. For instance, the patients get to use cycle tubes to strengthen their arm muscles instead of the much more expensive surgical tubings common in the West. Also, a special emphasis is being put on teaching the patient how to cope with the actual situation at his home. This means, for instance, teaching a patient who lives in the slums to walk with the aid of callipers and crutches on a very uneven terrain.

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For more information contact:
The Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
St. John's Medical College and Hospital, Bangalore - 560034
Phone: +91-(0)80-2206 5256   Fax: +91-(0)80-2553 0070

This website is still in the process of being constructed and hence may contain some factual/ technical errors. Please notify us if you find any.