The history of Government General Hospital, Kakinada dates back to the year 1856, when a Civil Dispensary was started in the old part of the town, Jagannaickpur under a committee of management. The Civil Dispensary was taken over by the Municipality in the year 1871. Gradually a hospital came into being consisting of scattered huts. It was under the charge of a Civil Surgeon up to 1904, when the headquarters of the District Medical Officer were transferred from Rajahmundry to Kakinada. The Lady Have lock Maternity Hospital was started by the District Board, East Godavari in 1895 in the heart of the town. This hospital was a gift of the Maharaja of Pithapuram. It was opened by His Excellency Lord Ampthill, Governor of Madras on 4th December of 1903. Sri. Rao Bahudur Badam Venkata Ratnam Garu gave a munificent donation of Rs. 5000 for this hospital. The Government took over this hospital in September 1926. The site of the present hospital, adjoining the Lady Havelock Maternity Hospital, was acquired by the Government in 1930. The construction of the new buildings of the Headquarters Hospital which now houses Obstetrics and Gynaecology was taken up in the year 1936 and was completed in the year 1941 at a total cost of Rs.5,79,700. It was opened by Major General H. Stott, Surgeon General with the Government of Madras, on 2nd December of 1941. The old hospital in Jagannaickpur was shifted to the New Headquarters Hospital and the Lady Have lock Maternity Hospital was merged with the Headquarters Hospital. The Headquarters Hospital was graded to a General Hospital By the Government on 14th October 1959 to serve as a teaching hospital to the RMC. The Headquarters of the District Medical Officer was shifted to Rajahmundry.
The Medical Education Society also came forward to effect a number of additions and improvements to the hospital buildings. It further constructed a huge clinical laboratory building which at present houses the departments of Microbiology and Pathology. The Society also constructed a separate building for the Forensic Medicine Department, including a mortuary and cold storage for 24 cadavers.
A Tuberculosis clinic was also constructed with the donation of one lakh donated by the Tuberculosis Association of Kakinada in 1958.
The construction of the new OP building with 3 floors was sanctioned by the Government at an estimated cost of twenty five lakhs. For this a handsome contribution of rupees five lakhs was made by the Medical Education Society. The foundation stone was laid by the Honourable Y. Sivarama Prasad, the then Health Minister. The construction was completed in 1967. The House Surgeons in one wing and pupil nurses in an other were accommodated in the second floor.
The Medical Block was opened by the Khumdubhai Desai, Governor of AP on 18th August 1968, and the Surgical Block was opened by Sri. Ramalinga Raju, Minister for Endowments on 12th December 1969.
An ICU in Cardiology was opened on 9th September 1977 by Sri. J. Vengal Rao. Proposals for the construction of separate Radiotherapy block, Neurosurgery, Thoracic Surgery and Cardiovascular Surgery units were made in the year 1977 and 1979.
Cardiology superspeciality unit was opened in the year 1981. A separate Radiotherapy unit is functioning under a Radiotherapist since 1983. Under G.O. MS No.1483/ Health dated 16-9-92 the bed strength was increased to 800 with the addition of some more beds in a separate TB ward, the present Bed Strength of the hospital has gone upto 890.
Government General Hospital witnessed a remarkable change in the beginning of 21st century. This is mainly due to the untiring efforts of the then Principal Dr. Rama Mohan Rao and the District Collector and Magistrate Mr. Satish Chandra.
On 25-6-2000 Sri B. Bhaskara Rama Rao inaugurated the newly constructed Pediatric Emergency Services Ward which included the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit and the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. On the same day Smt. Vanga Geeta Viswanath MP Rajya Sabha, inaugurated the Intensive care unit, equipped with latest ventilators and other equipment.
In the year 2001 the Government of Andhra Pradesh decided to establish Hospital Development Societies in all the Government General Hospitals of teaching medical colleges. As a part of this measure the Hospital Development Society was formed with 15 members in it. It started collecting user charges for all the services rendered at the Government General Hospital.
The Casualty and the reception counters were renovated and computers were installed in the counters.
A spiral CT machine was established in the hospital on 12th November 2001. The Gynecology and Obstetric Operation theaters were renovated on 27th July of 2002. On 31st of July 2002 two Pediatric wards were constructed and the existing ward was renovated and opened by Dr. K. S. Jawahar Reddy and Dr. Rama Mohan Rao .
The Neurology ward, the Psychiatry OP and a new Acute Medical Care Unit was constructed in the beginning of 2003.
The hospital provides medical care to people belonging to East and West Godavari Districts. All the departments are well equipped. The increase in the number of in patients and out patients year after year speaks of the popularity of the Hospital, and emphasis to improve it and develop as an apex hospital.