Moolai Co-operative Hospital

The above building project, initiated by and facilitated through MIOT NTR, was funded by a long standing MIOT member DR S Rajasundaram’s family , in the memory of their parents.

The building was ceremonially opened on 31 January 2019 attended by MIOT members from London and senior dignitaries representing The College of General Practitioners of Srilanka, The Sri Lanka Association of Specialist Family Physicians and Post Graduate Institute of Medicine.

People of Moolai village, the Board of Management members and the staff of the hospital received the guests with grand celebration.

MIOT published a journal to mark the event. Click here (Pending)

About moolai co-oprative hospital

Moolai Co-operative Hospital (MCH), was founded by Dr Kanagarayar who returned after serving in Malaysia (then known as Malaya), to provide much needed quality health care for the local  community.  It is located  along. the  Jaffna-Karainagar  road,  about  9  miles  (14  KM)  from Jaffna town. It was the first Co-operative Model Hospital, stared inl 935 and was a pioneering effort, as a first of it’skind in South-east Asia. It is a non-profit organization, and provided the stimulus for similar institutions to be established in other parts of Sri Lanka and South-east Asia.                     

It was registered s a charity in Sri Lanka in 1953. MCH has always been administered by a committee of volunteer members since its inception in 1936, and was registered as a charity in 1953. Its current Chairman is Mr. M. Gnaneswaran, and has another 14 members including Dr.S.Surenthirakumaran, acting as Medical Superintendent. He is an academic attached to the Community Medicine department, Jaffna Medical School. The MCH Board is charged with day-to-day administration, and finances. They are accountable to, and audited by the Commissioner of Co-op Development independently, and advised by them.


Mission Statement:

This noble institution was founded in 1935, by our forefathers who took the Hippocratic Oath to serve their fellow human beings, irrespective of caste, creed or religion, in their hour of need, when possible to cure their illness, but equally to treat and relieve the pain, and suffering of body and mind, and always comfort them in their final hours of this mortal life.

We also wish to celebrate this institution, for it has been the birth place over generations, of individuals who have contributed in no small measure to make this world a better place.

Vision for the Future:

Moolai Co-operative Hospital endeavors to cherish and foster the noblest ideals on which it was founded, that is, to strive to provide holistic and high-quality care, and comfort those who seek us, without any prejudice whatsoever.

History of Moolai co-operative hospital

The founding of Moolai Co-operative Hospital created Co-operative history in the sphere of health services in Sri Lanka. Co-operative  ventures have been looked upon favorably  within the Sri Lankan Tamil community  not only in our homeland,  but it was also successfully  applied in Malaya where many  Sri Lankan  tamils  who  migrated  to work in the civil services  during the British Empire eraby setting up the Jaffnese Co-operative Society which provided scholarships and financial support to aspiring youngsters within our community.  The principle of Co-operative venture in the eradication of illness was a unique and new idea at the time which had never before occurred. Moolai Co-operative Hospital carried this idea to execution brilliantly. It was a shining example and a source of inspiration for the establishment of similar institutions at Matara, Bandarawela, Sandalankawa, Tellipallai and in other parts of the island.

Way back in 1935, driven by a sense of philanthropy and charitable motivation, combined with a lack of medical facilities, a handful of members in Moolai opened a co-operative dispensary to provide medical facilities at minimum or no cost to those who were in need. Dr.Kanagarayar who returned from Malaya is credited with being the founding father. This institution was registered under the Co-operative Ordinance on 4 April 1936 (registration No. J/82), and subsequently because of its phenomenal success as a charitable service, was registered as a charity in Sri Lanka in 1953. It made rapid progress and blossomed into a fully fledged hospital with 105 beds, a well-equipped Surgical theatre and a Maternity unit with excellent facilities for Antenatal and Postnatal care.

MCH is designed to provide a variety of community care including elderly and infirm members of the local population whose families are unable to provide this. In addition to Out-patient consultations as a Primary Care Center by MCH resident doctors, we have Specialist consultation facilities by consultants from the Jaffna Teaching hospital. MCH was well established for excellent in-patient Secondary Care in various disciplines such as general surgery, general medicine, Maternity services, Pediatrics, Gynecology etc, since the second world war years until the communal strife that engulfed the north and east of island in the early 1980s. Because of the army occupation and safety concerns both staffs and local community fled the area depriving MCH and other institutions starved of vital services and income. Thus in the last nearly four decades it has become derelict, and damaged by bombs and shells with hardly any income to maintain these beautiful buildings donated mainly by doctors who worked here, their families and well-wishers of the hospital.

This hospital serves patients of all income groups, at very affordable costs which has been the hallmark of MCH since its inception. It covers several hundred thousand population from Jaffna peninsula and extending into other districts of the north and east of Sri Lanka. To illustrate the stature and the phenomenal reputation MCH built in the first half a century of its existence is exemplified by some famous names and organisations who have visited us over many decades. You will see for yourselves when you visit us that it has been the site of many a famous Sri Lankan Prime Minister, The Governor General, British High Commissioners who hailed this hospital and its services after seeing for themselves the excellent quality of care being provided. It is also noteworthy that one of the most famous names in the Tamil film world, the late Padmashree Sivaji Ganeshan who showed his love and affection for the suffering Jaffna Tamil community following the massacre we endured in 1958 pogrom, visited MCHand brought a team of famous fellow artists from South India and performed in Jaffna to raise funds to help us. Extract from the message sent by Hon. Sir O.E. Goonetilleke, Minister of Agriculture & Food later Governor- General ofCeylon. 

The story of the foundation of the Co-operative Hospital reminds one of the celebrated story of the first Co-operative pioneers of Rochdale in 1844, We have every reason to be proud of our own Moolai Pioneers This Unique institution and the several Co-operative Hospitals based on this example which have since been established in other parts of Island are the noblest monuments these selfless men can have.
– Hon. Sir O.E. Goonetilleke-

Extract from the message sent  by  Mr.S.C.  Fernando,  Commissioner  of  Co-operative Development and Registrar of Co-operative Societies.
Moolai is a noble example has inspired  over half a dozen  such  like institutions  throughout the Island and when these become in a network as no doubt soon they will, Ceylon Co­ operation in Health will have reason to tread its steps towards Moolai in veneration, for decades to come, in the same manner as the Co-operative world pilgrims its way today to Rochdale.
– Mr.S.C. Fernando –

Visits by distinguished persons

The Governor -Generals of Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) , Prime Ministers, Ministers and several Distinguished officials from Uganda, Fiji, Sarawak, Sudan Nepal, Indonesia , India, Northern Rhodesia, Gold Coast, Malaya, Cyprus, Zanzibar, Thailand, Burma , Singapore, Philippines, Tanganyika, Iran and Hong Kong visited the hospital to  study  its  Co-operative  methods  of running a medical institution.

Establishment of north ceylon medical college

In 1985, Moolai Co-operative Hospital attracted the attention of private medical practitioners who were looking for a suitable institution  to establish a private Medical college to teach medicine and to undertake medical research. After negotiations,Moolai Co-operative Hospital Society Ltd leased the institution to North Lanka College of Medical Practitioners to continue the Moolai Hospital with the same objectives as this institution and also to undertake teaching medicine. Though the Medical College started with much enthusiasm, the progress was hampered and eventually it ceased to function.

Deteriorating situation since 1990

Karainagar Island was occupied by the security forces in 1990. This led to the closure of the causeway connecting KarainagarIsland with the peninsula at Ponnalai which is about 1 km from Moolai Co-operative Hospital. From that time onwards, the security situation in the vicinity of the hospital was tense. The hospital was damaged in the aerial bombing on 22.08.1990. The situation gradually worsened and came to a climax during October-November 1995 when people started fleeing from Valikamam – West as security forces kept advancing towards Jaffna town. At that stage, the hospital was abandoned.

Damages caused to the hospital

After the closure of Karainagar causeway in 1990, there was frequent shelling in Moolai – Ponnalai area and buildings were badly damaged . On 22.8.1990 the hospital was bombed causing damage to buildings, equipment, furniture, fittings and machinery. Later when the hospital was abandoned in November 1995, during the mass displacement of people from Valikamam west, many items of equipment, furniture and fittings were lost. Due to the situation that prevailed, the buildings had not been maintained over a long period. As a result, much damage had been caused to the buildings.

Situation after april 1996

By early 1996, the Security Forces occupied Jaffna  Peninsula.  From  the  latter  part  of  April, 1996, the people who were displaced from Valikamam west started returning to their homes. The hospital was reoccupied in July 1996 and the O.P.D was opened on all days of the week from 9.00 am to 4.00pm. The laboratory functions two days in a week. Consultant doctor-Obsterician and Gynaecologist, Eye Surgeon, Dental Surgeon and Physician from Teaching Hospital, Jaffna conduct clinics at this hospital. These clinics enable patients in the neighbouring villagers to obtain the services of a Consultant Doctor in their own neighbourhood. Otherwise they have to travel 14 kms to Jaffna.

Congenial environment

The hospital is located 1km away from the sea along the west coast of the peninsula-famously known as Casurina beach- inquiet surroundings . It provides a congenial environment conducive to the speedy recovery of patients. The ideal location of the hospital has been confirmed by many visitors from Colombo and abroad .

Miot's choice for extended primary care centre

As has been seen above, the MCH has a long history in providing high quality care to patients. MIOT has been involved in running a family medicine centre at MCH for the past 10 years.

Next to Manipay Green Memorial Hospital MCH had the second independent medical school in operation in early 1980’s and had to be abandoned due to the prevailing volatile conditions. The registration of North Ceylon Medical College and its bank account still exist. MCH has a track record of medical education and training.

We intend to use MCH to develop another centre of excellence for Service, Education, Training and Research. The initiative by a MIOT member Dr Rajasundaram should encourage other individuals and organizations to contribute towardsestablishing a world class centre of excellence for healthcare.


கேடில் விழுச்செல்வம் கல்வி யொருவற்கு

மாடல்ல மற்றை யவை   “

Learning is excellence of wealth that none destroy; To man nought else affords reality of joy

Tirukkural 400Book by Thiruvalluvar

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