As the residents of this largely poor and socially backward district could not access good surgical facilities because of nancial constraints and non-availability of specialists locally, the Department of General Surgery was started in 2000 to treat general surgical problems. Over time though, the department has broadened its scope to performing endoscopic and laparoscopic surgeries too.
Laparoscopic surgery in particular, has proved to be a boon for rural people as it greatly reduces the morbidity and mortality rates compared to open surgery. Patients can be discharged earlier and
can resume their normal life easily.
As disease patterns are changing slowly from communicable to noncommunicable ones due to changes in lifestyle and stress, cancer care has become a vital part of the general surgery department. The department mainly treats breast cancers in women, and stomach, rectal, and oesophageal cancers in men. When patients were being referred to tertiary care centres for chemotherapy by their doctors, they would not go for a range of reasons, and would eventually come to Bathalapalli with badly disseminated advanced stage cancers. Chemotherapy was therefore started at the hospital under the guidance and expert advice of Oncologists from Christian Medical College Hospital, Vellore, which is a premium referral centre. Constant recommendations and treatment updates are exchanged between the departments via teleconferencing and email correspondence with CMC doctors to ensure diligent cancer care to the poor and uneducated patients. Patients who need radiotherapy are referred by the hospital to other referral centres, usually sponsored by RDT.
Today, Bathalapalli Hospital maintains a full-edged registry afliated to the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).
RDT has trained its own staff and doctors to provide the services of endoscopy, colonoscopy and ultra-sonograms to the rural community. Four volunteer surgeons from Spain visit the hospital biannually and guide the doctors in performing colorectal and elective surgeries in the workshops conducted for 3-4 days. They are also involved in the Basic Intensive Care and BLS/ALS workshops conducted by Intensive Care department every year. Afliated to National Board of Examinations to train 2 Residents every year.