Village of Bilga

Originally founded on 13 April 2000, the hospital, located in the village of Bilga in The Punjab, first opened its doors on the 29 March 2005 to provide effective primary and secondary healthcare serving the poor and needy of a population of one hundred thousand in the village of Bilga and the surrounding forty-four villages, mostly located along the north bank of the Satluj River. The hospital has been built on five acres of land with eleven thousand square metres of buildings and currently has forty-eight beds, with a capacity to expand to over eighty beds in time. The recent building of the staff residencies, named in honour of the Fifth Guru who is associated historically with the village, Sri Guru Arjan Dev Ji, almost completes the estate.

An Inpatient receiving treatment

The hospital is committed to provide free medical, surgical or obstetric treatment to those in need and who meet the hospital's criteria for such treatment. In addition to normal deliveries and caesarean sections, the hospital provides on behalf the National Rural Health Mission of the Government of India under the Suraksha Janepa Yojna (Safe Delivery Programme of the NRHM Punjab) free deliveries for poor patients below the poverty line. The hospital also emphasises health education and preventative medicine. The services provided are available to all, irrespective of religion, race, caste or political affiliation.

Over the last five years, the hospital has grown and developed and now offers a wide range of facilities and medical specialities. These include accident and emergency medicine, orthopaedics, optometry, ophthalmology, dentistry, obstetrics and gynaecology, physiotherapy , general medicine, surgery and community and preventative medicine. The hospital boasts a busy pharmacy, open twenty-four hours per day, to provide all the essential medications for the common conditions that are prevalent in the area. Recent expansion includes the opening of psychiatric specialist services to include treatment for those afflicted by drug and alcohol dependency.


The hospital holds specialist daily out-patient clinics where patients can seek medical advice and treatment for a wide number of diseases and conditions. The hospital's ambulance and transport facility provides an invaluable service to the hospital's work and has increased the number of patients that can receive urgent medical care, that otherwise would not have been able to due to lack of transport facilities and the cost.


The hospital's work does not stop there. Health Camps are regularly organised in the surrounding poorer villages, where transport is a particular problem enabling many patients to be seen my healthcare professionals. The treatment and care provided at the camps is free and appropriate follow up is arranged. These camps often sponsored by individuals in the UK and elsewhere, are hugely beneficial to all those people who would otherwise not be able to afford medical treatment. Amongst these are regular specialist eye camps, where simple eye operations, mainly cataract surgery, are performed free of charge.

On 25 October 2009, the hospital hosted a pioneering Cancer Camp, organised jointly with the Cancer Council of India and generously funded by the Smt. Surinder Kaur Shergill Cancer Memorial Trust. In the summer of 2010, recently qualified volunteer optometrists from Aston University in Birmingham will be undertaking a series of Eye Camps and training of medical and other healthcare staff as part of the Birmingham Comes to Bilga programme.


The hospital also endorses a volunteering programme where medical and healthcare students from the Midlands of the UK, particularly from the Universities of Birmingham and Leicester, have the opportunity to experience healthcare in rural India firsthand. The hospital is also developing a volunteer programme for qualified medical and other healthcare staff.

Between 11-13 April 2010, the hospital hosted an international conference Birmingham Comes to Bilga: Healthcare in a Developing Economy when a number of clinicians, both from the Punjab and Birmingham attended, reported on their research and practice and began to build bilateral links.

In collaboration with the Birmingham Medical Institute and PIMS, the hospital is establishing collaborative training programmes for British and Indian surgeons and physicians in such fields as hand surgery, urology, orthopaedics, plastic surgery and ophthalmology.

Bilga General Hospital has grown and developed at an astonishing rate and the benefits to the community are strongly evident. Members of the local community regularly praise the efforts of those that built the hospital and it will continue to thrive as long as its support from many quarters, in India, the UK and globally, remains strong.

The hospital now has a nine room Out Patients Department, with consulting rooms for doctors of various specialties and modern laboratory and diagnostic services, including an x-ray and ultrasound facility and four operating theatres.


Physiotherapy at work Operating Theatre Nurses at Work
The X-Ray Department Inside a Laboratory Physiotherapy at work
Cancer Camp, October 2009 The Launch of Birmingham Comes to Bilga (2007) The first student volunteers at the Hospital in 2008
Birmingham Comes to Bilga 2010
Delegates relaxing
(Left to right:
Mr Gurcharan S Shergill, one of the hospital's founders,
Dr Rajan Soni, former Medical Superintendent,
Professor Robert Arnott, Chairman of the Board of Governors
and Dr Paramjit Gill, Member of the Board of Governors)
Visit of the Minister of Health and Family Welfare to the hospital and the conference Conference in session
Home | BGHCT | Sitemap | Contact