Dr J G Shanmuganathan, founder of Ganga Hospital, Coimbatore, died of cardiac arrest around 4.45pm on Friday in the city. He was 92. He was born to Captain Dr JS Gangadaran and Shenbagavalli Ammal at Sivagiri in Erode on October 30, 1931.
He passed SSLC at RS Puram Municipal Boys High School in 1946 and joined an intermediate course at St Joseph College in Trichy in 1948. He completed his MBBS from Government Stanley Medical College, Chennai, in 1954. He became a popular family physician in Coimbatore soon after he started his medical profession in March 1956.
Dr Shanmuganathan was one of the 15 Indian delegates to the first World Conference of Cheshire Homes in London in 1969 and utilized the opportunity to specialise in anaesthesiology (D.A.)
He returned to Coimbatore as the first qualified anaesthetist in the city at the end of 1970. He established Ganga Hospital as a small unit at Ramnagar in the city in 1972 and this allowed surgeons to perform their surgeries in the hospital with constant availability of a qualified anaesthetist. The hospital moved to its own building at Ramnagar in 1978.
His sons’ Dr S Rajasabapathy and Dr S Rajasekaran joined the hospital in 1991 after specializing in plastic and orthopaedic surgery respectively in the UK and the US. The hospital was developed into a 650-bedded tertiary care super-specialty hospital for orthopaedics and plastic surgery.
Due to his love for Tamil poet Bharathiyar and Tamil literature, Dr Shanmuganathan enrolled in Bharathiar University as a research student at the age of 80 and was awarded a PhD at the age of 82 in 2013. He published his research in a book titled ‘Bharathi Endroru Manudan’.
As a life member of the Indian Medical Association (IMA), he was engaged in active work for nearly 45 years.
He was a full-time member of the Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Coimbatore Chapter. Along with Dr Major Rao as president and himself as the secretary, they established ‘Cheshire Home’, a home for the physically-disabled and incurable sick in 1969.
As the secretary of the Coimbatore District Welfare Association, a Senior Citizens’ Home was established in the year 2002. This home caters to 40 elderly citizens with free accommodation, food, and medical aid.
Dr Shanmuganathan established a ‘Senior Citizens Day Care Centre’ at Kavundampalayam, a centre to take care of lonely senior citizens, providing them relief from depression, injuries and caring for their health. The last rites will be performed at GKD Crematorium at Pappanaickenpalayam in the city around 4.30 pm on Saturday.
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