Sri Sathya Sai Super Speciality Hospital

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Super Speciality Hospital, Puttaparthi, A.P., India

The 'Sri Sathya Sai Institutes of Higher Medical Sciences' also popularly known as 'Super Speciality Hospitals' are tertiary health care hospitals established by Sri Sathya Sai Baba to provide patient care facilities to all irrespective of caste,class,creed, gender, religion or nationality totally free of charge.[1] There are currently two super speciality hospitals, the Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Medical Sciences, Puttaparthi, Andhra Pradesh and second one the Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Medical Sciences, Whitefield, Bangalore, (outside of Bangalore), Karnataka, India.

Mission statement[edit]

The Sri Sathya Sai Institutes of Higher Medical Sciences (run by the Sri Sathya Sai Central Trust) follow the guiding principles laid down by Sathya Sai Baba.[2]

  • Universal Healthcare: Healthcare should be available to all, irrespective of caste, religion, nationality, or financial status.[2]
  • Decommercialized Healthcare: Healthcare should be delivered free of charge.[2]
  • Human Values in Healthcare: Healthcare should be administered with Love.[2]
  • Spiritualisation of Healthcare: The aim should be to heal the patient in body, mind and spirit, not merely to cure disease.[2]
Sri Sathya Sai Super Speciality Hospital, Whitefield (suburb of Bangalore), Karnataka, India


The Sri Sathya Sai Medical Care Division runs five medical institions.[3] The following table depicts the dates of inauguration of the various hospitals under the Sri Sathya Sai Medical Care Division.

S.No Name of the Institution Year of establishment
1 Sri Sathya Sai General Hospital, Prasanthi Nilayam 1956
2 Sri Sathya Sai General Hospital, Whitefield, Bangalore 1976
3 Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Medical Sciences, Puttaparthi 1991
4 Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Medical Sciences, Whitefield, Bangalore 2001
5 Sri Sathya Sai Mobile Hospital 2006

The history of the hospitals goes back to 23 November 1954 when the foundation stone of the Sri Sathya Sai General Hospital, Puttaparthi was laid. The hospital was inaugurated on 4 October 1956. The hospital initially had twelve beds. The hospital catered mainly to the local villagers and devotees who would visit Sai Baba's Prasanthi Nilayam Ashram. Treatment both for in-patients and out-patients was given totally and continues to be so to this day as is the case with all institutions established by Sai Baba. The hospital currently has the departments of General Medicine, General Surgery, Paediatrics, ENT, Ophthalmology, Dentistry, obstetrics and Gynaecology.

Similarly a general hospital was inaugurated near in Bangalore near Sai Baba's ashram of Brindavan in 1976. This hospital apart from the facilities available in the Puttaparthi general hospital currently has the facilities of Urology, Orthopaedics, Plastic Surgery and Psychiatry.

As the demands on the hospital inaugurated in 1956 increased ... the need was felt for the construction of a new hospital building, equipped with all medical facilities. During the birthday discourse on November 23, 1990, Sai Baba announced that a new tertiary care i.e. super-speciality hospital will be constructed. Within one year time the Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Medical Sciences, Puttaparthi was constructed and was inaugurated on November 22, 1991.".[4] Later The Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Medical Sciences, Whitefield, Bangalore was inaugurated on January 19, 2001. The last addition to the list of the hospital has been the Sri Sathya Sai Mobile Hospital, which as the name suggests is a hospital on wheels. The mobile hospital visits various villages in and around Puttaparthi and endeavours to bring healthcare to the doorstep of the patients. The mobile hospital received national recognition when it was awarded "Commendation for Innovation in Transforming Lives" award by CNBC-TV18.".[5]

Sathya Sai Baba also was checked into the Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Medical Sciences, Puttaparthi hospital after some health problems, and passed away on 24 April 2011.

Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Medical Sciences, Prasanthigram, Puttaparthi[edit]

The Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Medical Sciences, Puttaparthi has 300 beds and 12 surgical units, five intensive care units, two cardiac catheterisation laboratories medical and surgical wards and a 24 hour emergency unit. The hospital as mentioned earlier provides totally free treatment to all the patients.

On 23 November 1990, during his birthday discourse, Sri Sathya Sai Baba while talking about the inability of healthcare access to the poor declared within one year a tertiary care hospital will come up in the village of Puttaparthi, which will provide high-end care completely free to all the patients. "There are few who are ready to set up such institutions to provide free facilities for the poor. Therefore, from the start we decided to set up a hundred-crore hospital near Prashaanthi Nilayam itself. Even as higher education is free here, "Higher Medicine" also will be free. People spend some lakhs to get heart surgery done in the U.S. What is the plight of the poor? Who looks after them? If they go to the cities, they will not get even coloured water. Recognising this fact, we have launched this big hospital project. Whether it is heart bypass operation, or a kidney transplant, or a lung operation or brain surgery, everything will be done free. This has been decided upon from the very starting of the project." Sri Sathya Sai Baba said and added that the hospital would be inaugurated on 22 November 1991.[6] The first cardiothoracic operations were carried out successfully exactly one year later. The Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Medical Sciences was inaugurated by Sri Sathya Sai Baba and the then Prime Minister of India, Shri P. V. Narasimha Rao, on 22 November 1991.[7]

"The second phase was inaugurated a year later by the then President of India. Dr. Shankar Dayal Sharma, when the uro-nephrology department started functioning."[7][8] The super specialty hospital continued to expand: opening the kidney transplant programme in 1993, Department of Ophtalmology in 1994, and in 1995, the CT Scanner and Vitreo Retinal Services were inaugurated.[7] In 1999 the Lithotripsy Centre was opened.[7][9][10] Kidney transplantation facility is no longer offered in the hospital.[11]


Currently the hospital offers the following facilities:[12]

  • Cardiology
  • Cardio Thoracic and Vascular Surgery
  • Urology
  • Plastic Surgery
  • Ophthalmology
  • Orthopaedics
  • Gastroenterology (Endoscopy)


The hospital is accredited by the National Board of Examination, India to provide Diplomate of National Board (DNB) training to doctors in the specialties of Cardiology, Cardio-Thoracic and Vascular Surgery (CTVS), Urology, Ophthalmology, Anaesthesiology and Orthopaedics. The hospital has earned two gold medals in the DNB courses of Urology and Ophthalmology. Dr. N.N. Sridharan received the Gold Medal for DNB Urology in 2004[13] and of the DNB students of the hospital was awarded the gold medal by the National Board of Examinations.[14] Dr. Amit Chabbra received the DNB Gold Medal in the 2010.[15] Various departments of the hospital organize yearly conferences which are attended by faculty members and delegates from across the country and sometimes from nations across the world. The hospital has periodic academic sessions in which doctors from the hospital and from outside share their knowledge on specific topics of academic interest with the doctors and students.SSSIHMS, Puttaparthi, also receives visiting professors from India and abroad who provide their expertise in their specific subjects to the students. The students are exposed to a spectrum of cases, as the hospital is charitable in nature. The number of candidates admitted for training in this Institute every year is two each for cardiology, urology, ophthalmology, anaesthesiology and orthopaedics. The DNB training for these departments is 3 years. Two candidates are admitted to the department of CTVS. The period of training in CTVS being 6 years post MBBS.

National Board of Examination(NBE)guidelines are adhered to with respect to stipend, library, internet facilities etc.

Interestingly, the hospital does not collect Rs. 80,000/- a year from trainees as training charges/fee as prescribed by the NBE, since it is run by the Sri Sathya Sai Central Trust, which functions on the philosophy of Sri Sathya Sai Baba that education and health should be provided completely free to all.[16]


Dr. Michael Nobel, great grand-nephew of Alfred Nobel, chairman, Appeal of Nobel Peace Laureates Foundation states, "The world's hospitals are filled with expensive and advanced medical technology. It is also easy to find free hospitals. But the combination of the two, of a super speciality, highly advanced, state-of-the-art hospital which is free for the poor—that is a unique, completely unique concept. And if we add to that Sai Baba's presence, and the spirituality which his presence lends to the hospital, it becomes a very unique creation. I know hospitals very well, but I have never seen anything like this on earth."[17] Anna Tibaijuka, who was appointed by the World Health Organization as a member of the WHO Commission on Social Determinants of Health, visited the Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Medical Sciences, Puttaparthi.[18] Dr. Mitch Krucoff, an eminent cardiologist from Duke University, North Carolina, United States, talks about his experience with SSSIHMS,Puttaparthi . "There is an atmosphere of joy amongst the staff of this Hospital, as they do their work. When we first went over to India, we thought were going to this poor third world nation and share with them our technologies, teaching them how to use it properly. Honestly stated, this was a very arrogant start. Later, it turned out that we learnt more than we taught."[17]

Sri Sathya Sai Super Speciality Hospital, Puttaparthi, A.P., India

Building and architecture[edit]

"The hospital was set up on 110 acres (45 ha) of land near the Sri Sathya Sai Airport"[8] and "was designed by Professor Keith Critchlow from the Prince of Wales Institute of Architecture in London."

The architecture is a mix of ancient Hindu and Islamic styles. However, some components of Indo-Gothic style could be noticed in the building. The hospital has a total built-in area of 153,000 square feet.

"The hospital has a large central building with a magnificent dome which is connected to four buildings on either side each with a dome. Critchlow was given three months to complete the design and the hospital was built in nine months. This according to Prof. Critchlow is a feat only Sai Baba could perform. It is said that the construction of such a massive hospital with all its modern equipments would take more than 7 years even in US or UK. There are many interpretations of what the building represents. Some people believe that central building represents Swami (Sathya Sai Baba)'s heart and the others with the connecting curved corridors represent Baba's two arms embracing humanity."[19] "The impressive building ... stands as a magnificent temple of healing, its inspiring architecture imparts an aura of divinity and peace to all who enter the hospital for investigation or treatment and to those who work there."[20] "Spread over an area of 15,000 sq. meters, the hospital hosts 300 beds."[9] "The hospital, with its beautiful architecture and serene rural setting, serves not only as a temple of healing for the body but also for the mind and the spirit."[8]

Sathya Sai Baba says of the building process, "The firm of Larsen & Toubro are known for their big constructions in India and abroad. But nowhere else was such enthusiasm and zeal displayed by the workers engaged in the construction as in this Hospital. Even the smallest worker did the work of ten persons with zeal and joy. All workers performed their jobs with enthusiasm and devotion."[21]

There has been recent improvements since 2002 of rail transportation to Puttaparthi, one of the reasons being the Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Medical Sciences, Puttaparthi.[22]

Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Medical Sciences, Whitefield[edit]

"The Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Medical Sciences, Bangalore, was inaugurated on 19 January 2001. After its success, the Karnataka government offered Sathya Sai Baba 53 acres of land to establish another super-speciality hospital."[8] "The cost estimate was Rs 2000 million."[23]

Sri Sathya Sai Super Speciality Hospital, Whitefield (suburb of Bangalore), Karnataka, India

The Whitefield Super Speciality hospital offers free care for Cardiology, Cardio Thoracic and Vascular Surgery, Neurology and Neurosurgery.[24] The hospital also has in-patient services such as Radiology, Laboratory (Pathology, Microbiology, Biochemistry labs, and an in-house Blood Bank), Physiotherapy, Dietary and Counseling.[25]

Alangar S Hegde, neurosurgeon in private practice and part-time director of the 330-bed hospital, said in a Zee news interview, "Treatments, tests, medicines, food and hospital stay are all free ... and if some tests cannot be done here, we get them done outside at our cost. On an average day, surgeons here perform seven neuro and seven heart surgeries. Together with laboratory tests, X-ray scans and outpatient procedures these are worth over Rs 5 million (USD 100,000) in commercial terms but done free." "Built with trust funds, the Rs 200 million that the hospital spends annually on salaries, medicine, equipment and maintenance come entirely from unsolicited donations from [Sathya Sai Baba] devotees." "The state government gave us land and the power supply for hospital is free," Hegde said. "Companies give us medical equipments at discount and one computer firm installed Rs 10 million (USD 20,000)-worth hospital software at no cost."[26]

"The Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Medical Sciences, (Whitefield) Bangalore, is the second in the world and the first in India to have acquired the Stealth Neuro Navigation System (for image guided surgeries), the latest technology in precision neuro surgery. "We have acquired this surgical navigation technology in keeping with the philosophy of Sri Sathya Sai Baba that the best medicare should be made available to all irrespective of caste, creed or religion and at free of cost," said Dr. A. N. Safaya, the ex-director of the hospital.[27] During a visit to the hospital in 2002, former president of India APJ Abdul Kalam said, "I can see God's mission being carried out here. The doctors and staff looked to me as angels."[26]


The Whitefield Super Speciality "hospital is actually known as a "temple of healing" as it provides medicare in a spiritual ambiance devoid of commercialism, its employees say."[26] "It is not just the state-of-the-art technology or high quality service but the spiritual ambiance pervading through the campus," says hospital manager.[26] Satyaranjandas Hegde says, "Those who man the gates, serve at the reception and counsel patients are all volunteers inspired by Sathya Sai Baba's philosophy that "seva," or selfless service, is service to god. People wanting to offer 'seva' are so many that there is a waiting list for volunteers. We keep rotating them to give everyone a chance."[26] "It actually makes me feel I am entering a temple and not a hospital," said Akella Chendrasekhar, medical director of Wyckoff Medical Centre in New York.[26]

During a visit to the hospital in 2002, former president of India APJ Abdul Kalam said, "I can see god's mission being carried out here. The doctors and staff looked to me as angels."[26]

Dr Michael Nobel has said, "I have never seen anything like this on earth. It is a wonderful feeling, far removed from the national healthcare in the West, which does not seem to work very well. The impressive thing about the hospital created by Bhagwan Sai Baba is the combination of the three aspects: state-of-the-art technology, free medical treatment and the healing powers of his presence instilling in the patient the firm belief that he or she will get well."[28] The hospital is managed by MBA graduates from Swami's management institute at Puttaparthy, who oversee all day-to-day activities of the hospital like admission wait list, priorities, medical and surgical costs, and report to higher authorities.[28]

Current statistics[edit]

Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Medical Sciences, Prasanthigram, Puttaparthi: Cumulative: November 22, 1991 – October 31, 2014

Speciality OPD Surgeries/Procedures
Cardiology 1,062,048 39,857
CTVS - 24,473
Ophthalmology 654,503 58,932
Plastic Surgery 18,996 8,338
Urology 936,857 62,596
Orthopaedics 237,809 12,415
GI Endoscopy - 9,360
Total 2,910,213 215,971

Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Medical Sciences, Puttaparthi: +918555-287388 Website:

Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Medical Sciences, Whitefield, Bangalore: +9180-28411500


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  6. ^ Restore the glory of Bharat
  7. ^ a b c d Sanathana Sarathi, November 1999, v. 42, 11, p. 333
  8. ^ a b c d
  9. ^ a b
  10. ^
  11. ^ Department of Urology
  12. ^ "SSSIHMS, Prasathigram, Specialities.". Sri Sathya Sai Central Trust. Retrieved 8 September 2012. 
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  14. ^ "DNB Gold medal". Sri Sathya Sai Central Trust. Retrieved 8 September 2012. 
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  17. ^ a b
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  22. ^ More trains now head for Puttaparthi
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  26. ^ a b c d e f g
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