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Destinations

KLES Hospital and Medical Research Centre, Belgaum, South India

Hospital:

The KLES Hospital and Medical Research Centre is a tertiary teaching hospital.

Country:

India, the second largest country in the world, the largest democracy with a booming economy.

Location:

Belgaum, a city located in the northwestern part of the state of Karnataka, South India (about 150km inland from Goa on the west coast).

Hospital Facilities:

The hospital has around 1000 beds and a broad range of speciality units such as General Medicine, General Surgery, Orthopaedics, E.N.T., Obstetrics & Gynaecology, Ophthalmology, Paediatrics, Psychiatry, Cardiology, Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery, Urology, Nephrology, Neurology, Neurosurgery, Neonatology, Gastroenterology, Oncology, Diabetology, Assisted Reproduction Centre, etc.

The hospital is co-located with the JNMC Medical College and the KLES College of Pharmacy. Campus facilities include staff and student accommodation, cafeteria, post office, ATM, library and sports facilities.

Pharmacy services:

Medicines are supplied by the hospital's Pharmacy Department. Clinical pharmacy services are provided by the Department of Clinical Pharmacy which is operated by KLES College of Pharmacy. Master of Pharmacy Practice students spend most of their time in the hospital, participating in medical ward rounds, providing drug information services and undertaking research projects. They are supervised by one or two pharmacists from the college.

Role of volunteer pharmacists:

Clinical pharmacy is in its infancy in India (as in most developing countries), and there are few pharmacists with clinical experience to deliver clinical services and educate students. Volunteer pharmacists can assist with provision of clinical pharmacy services and student supervision and teaching. This includes participating in medical ward rounds, assisting students with answering drug information queries, and providing feedback to students about case studies and research projects.

Working hours:

The Department of Clinical Pharmacy is open from 0900 to 1630 Monday to Saturday. Working hours for volunteers are flexible.

Accommodation:

Available in a guest house on the hospital/college campus.

Food:

Local, with a number of restaurants on campus or within a 5 minute walk.

Language:

English is the medium of instruction and discussion among the medical and nursing staff. Kannada is the local language, but since Belgaum is near the state borders of both Goa and Maharashtra, some patients speak Konkani or Marathi. Hindi (India's national language) is also common.

Town facilities:

Belgaum is a medium-sized regional city (population 560,000). It is connected by rail to Mumbai, Bangalore and Goa and has a domestic airport. The centre of town is about 30 minutes walk or 5 minutes auto-rickshaw trip from the hospital/college campus, however there are also shops and restaurants close to the campus. There is an old fort which houses some historic temples.

Getting There:

Bangalore, Mumbai and Goa are the nearest international airports. The best option is to fly into Mumbai or Bangalore then get a domestic flight (1 hour) or over-night train (about 12 hours) to Belgaum. Alternatively you could get a train (about 3 hours) from Goa.

Travel:

Locally auto-rickshaws and buses are the main means of getting around.

Website:

Hospital Contact:

My contact details:

I spent time at KLES Hospital in 2000 and 2004. You can read more about my experiences.
Mr Rohan Elliott
Pharmacy Department
Austin Hospital
Melbourne, Australia

Other Comments:

Pharmacists with a few years of clinical experience are preferred, although final year recent graduates would also get a lot from a visit to this hospital, or to any other Indian hospital.