The healing ministry has been an integral part of the Church from the beginning. It has been an instrument in sharing our concern towards the sick and the suffering. It is quite significant to note that the healing ministry was started with the arrival of missionaries in a very informal way. However, the Diocese took initiative in this direction by reviving old Hospitals, new Clinics and Healthcare centres. A brief account of the present day healing ministry is presented below:
NORTH KARNATAKA AREA C.S.I. (BASEL MISSION) HOSPITAL, GADAG-BETGERI
A century old C.S.I. (Basel Mission) Hospital, Gadag- Betgeri was established in 1902, which is a prestigious medical institution of our Diocese. At the time of establishment epidemics like plague and cholera had broken out; malaria and malnutrition took a heavy toll of people; and severe famine conditions prevailed. in response to this need, the Basel Missionary Society started the hospital at Betgeri with humble beginning in theyear 1902. Dr. Zerwick and Sister Lemp arrived as the first medical missionaries to Gadag - Betgeri. The hospital functioned initially in a wing of the Basel Mission School, Betgeri. The people of Gadag - Betgeri and the surrounding villages were greatly benefited from the work of the hospital. Dr. Zerwick served as doctor for 9 years till 1911. After his return to home land, Dr. Max Schnelter came to Betgeri but unfortunately he himself became a victim of cholera and died within a few months of after his arrival. His successor Dr. Paul Voland arrived in 1914 and he too died after a few months on account of cholera. However, the medical work of Dr. Petitpiera was recognized by the Government of India and she was honoured with the Kaisar - I Hind Silver medal in 1948. Another medical superintendent, Dr. Andrea Ddier who donated his blood to a lady patient was able to save her life but unfortunately, he himself died. Another person to be remembered is Dr.Waversik, who took keen interest in training young men and women in medical mission in different capacities. Mainly due to her earnest efforts, the government recognized the Auxiliary and Midwifery training programmes of the Hospital in 1964. The last European doctor who served at Betgeri till 1971 was Dr. Wissel, a surgeon from Holland.
Among the Indian doctors Dr. S. H. Eden, was the first one who served in this hospital since 1925. He took care of the male patients and became popular oblong the hospital staff as well as patients. He served for nearly 40 years and retired in 1964. After the return of European doctors the Indian doctors who took the leadership in the hospital are Dr. Lalitha Eden. Dr. Vijay Bhaskar, Dr. Nerlekar and others. In 1986, Dr. C. Solomon assumed charge as Medical Superintendent. Since his arrival the hospital has made a steady progress. Under his leadership, the hundred years old hospital has made a remarkable development. Now it is fully self-sufficient and equipped with modern facilities such as |.C.U., Dialysis, Gastroscopy, Neonatal ICU, Ventilators, etc. The hospital serves as a referral hospital to other hospitals in the surrounding area. The hospital has a team of visiting consultants in the Department of Surgery, Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Orthopaedics, Anaesthesia, Radiology, E.N.T., Psychiatry and Pathology. Dr. Solomon has won the respect of his colleagues for his dedication and the high ethical standards he has maintained. His patients call him "Devarantha Manushya “ (God like person). His greatest asset is an infinite patience. His out-patient clinic starts after his morning rounds and. functions from 11.30am to 10.00pm with only two short breaks. Today, the hospital is equipped with 100 beds, 13 doctors, 25 nurses and technicians, 31 office and class-lV staff reaching out average 175 out patients per day. ' May God bless all those who labour in this hospital and let them share the love of God through their service among the patients. A Hospital at Motebennur near Byadgi had its own name. Some German Missionaries served the sick, poor and needy people in this rural area. The Melsungen Church District of Evangelical Church of 'Kur-hessen Waldeck (EKKW) supported this Hospital for. a number of years.