KOCHI: Dr Vallath Balakrishnan, 83, one of the pioneers in gastroenterology studies and medicine in the country and recipient of the prestigious Dr B C Roy Award from the President, died at his residence here on Tuesday. He is survived by wife Sarala Balakrishnan, son Balachandran Sreekandath and daughter Vijaya Sreekandath.
Balakrishnan completed his MBBS from Trivandrum Medical College in 1958 and MD in General Medicine from Delhi University in 1963. He completed the Doctor of Medicine in Gastroenterology from the Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education & Research, Chandigarh, as one of the first two persons in India to obtain a DM in Gastroenterology.
He was instrumental in setting up one of the first gastroenterology departments in the country at the Trivandrum Medical College in 1972 and he became its director. After retiring from the Medical College, he worked in Sudheendra Hospital, Kochi, and later at the Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences, Kochi, as the Head of the Department and later as a consultant professor.