Dear Friends and supporters,
Once again, at this time of year, may I wish all our supporters a very happy Christmas and a blessed New Year.
The past year has again been difficult for CMC. In March, Dr Abraham Thomas stepped down from the Directorship of the institution and Dr William Bhatti [Paediatric Surgeon] took over the role. The new administrative team includes Dr Dhruv Ghosh as Associate Director, Prof Jeyaraj Pandian as the Principal of the Medical College and Dr Anil Luther as the General Superintendent. Dr Abi M Thomas remains the Principal of the Dental College.
The problems they face are immense. The number of in-patients going through the hospital has fallen dramatically in the past few years and, as a consequence, the income has reduced whereas expenditure has increased. The income has been further compromised by the reduced payments received for ECSH and ESI [Government employees and Military]. The effects of the new Modi healthcare plan have still to be seen and evaluated. The major components of expenditure are staffing costs and interest on loans. The team are striving to develop a Rescue Plan for the institution.
This is all very sad since it detracts from the 125th anniversary of the Hospital and medical college which occurs in March 2019. CMC has now been a beacon for Jesus in the Punjab for 125 years and is the oldest Christian Medical College in the sub-continent. This is certainly something to celebrate! For many of those years the institution was mainly supported by foreign donations and by staff from abroad [UK, USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand]. The transition to a self-supporting institution has been difficult as the hospital and associated colleges have expanded. Foreign donations now account for only about 1% of the income.
During the year, Friends of Ludhiana has sent £15,000 to Ludhiana for the Good Samaritan Fund [which assists patients who cannot afford the cost of treatment] and the purchase of a new paediatric ventilator has been completed. I had the privilege in March of participating in the short Dedication Service for that equipment. The cost of the ventilator had risen to £18,000 – some of the increase was due to the fall in value of sterling and some to improved specification.
All the activities of Friends of Ludhiana are done by volunteers and I remain grateful to all the Trustees for their conscientious work throughout the year. I am also grateful to the support of all the Friends which manifests itself in financial gifts and prayer. We certainly need to continue praying for CMC and the Administrative Team in these difficult times.
Once again, Happy Christmas to you all.