The Aramyants Hospital Of Tiflis – One Of The First Hospitals With Free Medical Care

The Aramyants Hospital in Tiflis is one of the first hospitals in the world to provide free medical checkups and surgeries. This is thanks to a generous benefactor who paid the salaries to medical personnel from his own pocket.

The idea of donating to a hospital arose in Mikael Aramyants in 1902 accidentally during a conversation with a member of the city council A. Argutinsky-Dolgorukov.

“What does Tiflis need now?” Aramyants asked.

Argutinsky-Dolgorukov responded, “The city needs a lot, but the biggest need is a hospital. The Mikhailovsky hospital is supported by zemstvo (local government institution) funds and therefore is obliged to serve the whole region. Naturally, it cannot satisfy even a tenth of those in need of treatment. The city has no funds to build a hospital.”

On April 14, 1903, Aramyants addressed former mayor Prince N. Argutinsky with this letter:

“…I have the honor to declare to Your Excellency that I donate one hundred thousand rubles for the construction of the city hospital. At the same time, I allow myself to request that a building for about one hundred beds for surgical needs and for patients with internal diseases or for the mentally ill be arranged on urban land with the amount I donate, and that my name be given to this building.”

From that moment on, the Government and the Duma set to work energetically to not only build the Aramyants hospital building but also fulfill the donor’s desire to ensure that it would be possible to establish an entire hospital campus in the future.

The design and construction of the building were planned and carried out by architect Zurabyants. The hospital housed a therapeutic department with 75 beds. According to experts, “the hospital was state-of-the-art in terms of construction and equipment.” Mikael Aramyants personally brought an X-ray machine from Europe – an unusual thing in the Russian Empire.

Today, the hospital is formally called Clinical Hospital No. 1, but the older generation still calls it the Aramyants Hospital.

Michael Osipov

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