Sri Sathya Sai Super Speciality Hospital
|This article reads like a news release, or is otherwise written in an overly promotional tone. (August 2010)|
The 'Sri Sathya Sai Super Speciality Hospital' is a tertiary health care hospital created to provide patient care facilities to all, free of cost. There are currently two super speciality hospitals, one in Puttaparthi, Andhra Pradesh and another in Whitefield, (outside of Bangalore), Karnataka, India.
"Sri Sathya Sai Medical Trust provides free medical care to the sick and ailing with the dedication, commitment, love and the best of skills, so that they will be cured in body, mind and spirit. The Mission of the trust is to provide high quality medical care free of charge to all irrespective of caste, creed, religion, and financial status in an atmosphere of love and care."
- Universal Healthcare: Healthcare should be available to all, irrespective of caste, religion, nationality, or financial status.
- Decommercialized Healthcare: Healthcare should be delivered free of charge.
- Human Values in Healthcare: Healthcare should be administered with Love.
- Spiritualisation of Healthcare: The aim should be to heal the patient in body, mind and spirit, not merely to cure disease.
Elaborating on the objectives of the hospital, Sri Sathya Sai Baba said in a discourse on 23 November 1991, "Many persons appealed to me to set up the hospital in an urban centre. There are many medical institutions run as a business in several cities. When any educational or medical institution is established, the sole aim is to make a business of it. 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 billion-rupee hospital near Prasanthi 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? 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."
Sathya Sai Baba's mother, Easwaramma, "had expressed her desire that there should be a hospital for all the poor people of Puttaparthi. Sai Baba had promised her that it would be done at the proper time." "The foundation of the Prasanthi Nilayam hospital was laid on 23 November 1954, and the hospital was inaugurated on 4 October 1956. Many devotees toiled to help build the hospital by carrying stones, bricks, cement, and other articles on top of the small hill on which it was constructed. The hospital initially had twelve beds, six of them for confinements, according to the needs of the time. The hospital catered mainly to the villagers and devotees. The doctors and the paramedical staff were appointed by Sathya Sai Baba. They worked voluntarily without any remuneration. Treatment both for inpatients and outpatients is free. Medicines, injections, operations, and deliveries are also free. As the demands on the hospital built in 1954 increased ... the need was felt for the construction of a new hospital building, equipped with all medical facilities. The foundation of the new hospital building was laid on 23 November 1982, and the hospital was inaugurated on Sivarathri Day, 29 February 1984. The hospital has arrangements for one hundred beds with an air-conditioned, fully equipped, operation theater; blood bank; laboratory; intensive care unit; X-Ray unit; eye unit; and dental unit. Well-qualified medical and paramedical staff have been recruited to staff the various branches of the hospital." Sathya Sai Baba also was checked into the hospital after some health failures, and on 24 April 2011, left his physical body, though the very presence of Swamy is being felt and experienced by the devotees from all over the world.
On 22 November 1990, Sathya Sai "Baba announced that a Super Specialty Hospital offering sophisticated treatment completely free of charge to all, would be inaugurated the next year, in the very hamlet of Puttaparthi."
Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Medical Sciences, Prasanthigram
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. 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. In a discourse that day, Sathya Sai Baba said, "Today an auspicious announcement has to be made. Within fifteen minutes of the inauguration of the Hospital by our Prime Minister, the first operation was begun in the Hospital. Within three hours four operations were performed. One was a very complicated case. There was a hole in the heart of the patient. All the operations were performed successfully and all the patients are doing well."
"The second phase was inaugurated a year later by the then President of India. Dr. Shanker Dayal Sharma, when the uro nephrology department started functioning." 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. In 1999 the Lithotripsy Centre was opened. Kidney transplantation facility is no longer offered.
Currently the hospital offers the following facilities:
- Cardio Thoracic and Vascular Surgery
- Plastic Surgery
- Gastroenterology (Endoscopy)
The hospital is equipped with 300 beds, 11 surgical theatres, five intensive care units, two cardiac catheterisation laboratories, medical and surgical wards, and a 24-hour emergency unit. "Leading doctors specialising in the fields of Cardiology, Cardio Thoracic and Vascular Surgery, Urology, Ophthalmology etc. come from different parts of the World on their own and render their services free of cost." One of the DNB students of the hospital was awarded the gold medal by the National Board of Examinations.
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." Anna Tibaijuka, who was appointed by the World Health Organization as a member of the WHO Commission on Social Determinants of Health, visited the Super Speciality Hospital in Puttaparthi.
Dr. Mitch Krucoff, an eminent cardiologist from Duke University, North Carolina, United States, talks about his experience with super speciality hospital. "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."
Building and architecture
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.
"Isaac Tigrett ... (who started the Hard Rock Cafes) sought Prof. Critchlow's aid to design a hospital in an Ashram in Puttuparthi, India. Critchlow had never heard of Sai Baba." "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 construcion of such a massive hospital with all its modern equipments would take more than 7 years even in US or UK. The central building represents Swami (Sathya Sai Baba)'s heart and the others with the connecting curved corridors represent Baba's two arms embracing humanity." "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." "Spread over an area of 15,000 sq. meters, the hospital hosts 300 beds." "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."
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."
Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Medical Sciences, Whitefield
"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." "The cost estimate was Rs 2000 million."
The Whitefield Super Speciality hospital offers free care for Cardiology, Cardio Thoracic and Vascular Surgery, Neurology and Neurosurgery. 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.
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."
"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.
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." "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. 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." "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.
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." 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.
Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Medical Sciences, Prasanthigram: Cumulative: November 1991 – 30 April 2013
Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Medical Sciences, Whitefield Cumulative: January 2001 – April 2013
Sri Sathyasai SuperSpeciality Hospitals Contact Number ; 08555287388
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Sri Sathya Sai Super Speciality Hospital.|
- Prashanti Nilayam Super Speciality Hospital
- Whitefield Super Speciality Hospital
- Sathya Sai Baba Home Page
- Eight years of holistic and elevating health care
- Completing the Circle
- Highway to hope
- Destiny's Child
- Dancing to life's new tune
- Sanathana Sarathi, November 1999, v. 42, 11, p. 333
- Restore the glory of Bharat
- http://psg.sssihms.org.in/pages/Specialities/Urology.htm Department of Urology
- "SSSIHMS, Prasathigram, Specialities.". Sri Sathya Sai Central Trust. Retrieved 8 September 2012.
- "DNB Gold medal". Sri Sathya Sai Central Trust. Retrieved 8 September 2012.
- http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2002-11-16/bangalore/27325577_1_kacheguda-dharmavaram-express-southern-railway-train-services More trains now head for Puttaparthi