Tata Memorial Hospital was inaugurated on 28th February 1941 by His Excellency Sir Roger Lumley, the then Governor of Mumbai. Declaring the centre open, he estimated with extraordinary prescience “…the hospital will become the spearhead of attack on cancer in this country, providing not only a center where specialized treatment can be given, but also one from which knowledge of new methods of treatment and diagnosis will go out to doctors and hospitals throughout the country...”
The past 75 years stand as glowing testimony to Sir Lumley’s prophecy. A recent peer group review of the hospital has accredited it as the premier comprehensive center in India, in addition recognized it as potentially and prominently featuring in the top five cancer centers globally.
The advent of TMH in chapters of the history of medicine in India can best be defined as a quantum leap. It owed its genesis to the philanthropic sentiments of the illustrious Tata family. Later on, in 1961 was passed under the guardianship of Department of Atomic Energy which remarkably aided and upheld the meteoric rise of the sterling institution. In the year 1966 Tata Memorial Hospital merged with Cancer Research Institute (the pioneer research institute), the conjoined institutes were collectively called Tata Memorial Centre (TMC).TMC exemplifies private philanthropy boosted by Government support with a mandate for Service, Education & Research in Cancer. Commencing its journey as a torchbearer, the first dedicated cancer specialty hospital in Asia, TMC today continues to maintainits
excellence of being the largest cancer institute in Asia. A fledgling 80 bedded hospital spread over 15,000 sq meters with an annual budget of half a million (INR), has escalated to a lofty institution with 700+ beds, covering over 75,000 sq meters, utilizing an annual budget of 23,00 million (INR). TMC indomitably bears the responsibility of cancer care burden not only of the large Indian populace but also several parts of Asia, Middle East and Africa, catering to an annual footfall of 65,000 new cases and 450,000 follow up cases.
Research and education have inarguably been the quintessential arms of a comprehensive cancer care centre. TMC since origin has embraced the holistic model of delivering cancer care by augmenting and developing its research and education facilities as it sought to provide treatment which was affordable, innovative and particularly relevant to the needs of the country.The research wing of TMC originally established in 1952 as CRI (Cancer Research Institute) was subsequently revamped as ACTREC (Advanced Centre ForTreatment Research and Education in Cancer) in 2002. ACTREC is a state of art research and training centre which has over the years focussed on the integration of basic and clinical research including evolving inspiring pathways for translational research. The academic unit of TMC imparts training in specialty and super specialty courses in oncology and is affiliated to the acclaimed Homi Bhabha National Institute, Mumbai.
The noble mission of the institute was to provide comprehensive cancer care to one and all. A practice which has been resolutely followed since its inception is, that every patient who walks in is attended to and treated irrespective of their ability to pay. Over 60% of TMC‘s patients receive free or highly subsidized treatment. The essence of the center however, lies in its undeviating constancy towards extending compassionate care and assuaging suffering in times of extreme distress. Patients and caregivers often refer to the hospital as a temple which bespeaks diligence and dedication of the individuals who work there. Way back in 1935 while addressing the board meeting of Tata trustees, Dr John W Spies had expounded on the salient aim of a cancer center, “…..The best interests of the cancer patient demand that all effective methods of treatment be made available at one place so that a judicious choice of a well- considered combination of methods may give to such a patient his best chance of cure, or failing that, his best chance of life and relief of pain”The haloed corridors of this famed institution ring strong and true in affirmation of this exalted vision.As millions stream in seeking hope, this Mecca continually labours to ensure means of cure, care and cope.
Seventy five glorious years of Tata Memorial Centre have borne witness to its commitment to excellence, expertise and eminence in cancer treatment, care, research, education and awareness. As a tribute to this iconic institution we mark a year long celebration of its Platinum Jubilee (Dodranscentennial Anniversay) 2016.