The 150-year-old Government Headquarters Hospital in Udhagamandalam, Tamil Nadu is all set to be upgraded in the coming months. Work is already under way to construct the District Early Intervention Center (DEIC). It will have a mammography unit, a psychiatric ward, and a pain and palliative care unit. Initially begun as a convalescent center for soldiers in 1829, the hospital has had many phases in its long history, from being handed over to the military in 1853, to the main edifice of the present building being built at a cost of ₹22,000 in 1867. The DEIC will be set up at a cost of ₹1 crore, and is designed to diagnose and treat congenital defects among children.

Apart from the DEIC, a geriatric ward, furbished with physiotherapy equipment is to be built at a cost of ₹23 lakh, while a psychiatric ward under the District Mental Health Project is also to come up shortly. The ward will not only help to treat people with autism, but will also be equipped to handle patients with suicidal tendencies, and also treat drug and alcohol addiction. The unit will have ten beds, with a psychologist and a psychiatrist working at the unit. There are also plans to set up a pain and palliative care unit to treat patients with terminal illnesses at the hospital, while a mammography unit, used to detect breast cancer, is also to be set up. – The Hindu

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