BANGALORE: The Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Medical
Sciences' Hospital at Whitefield has completed a landmark
1,000 cardiac and 500 neuro surgeries in just six months of
its existence. It was inaugurated in January.
``Making a difference to people who had given up hope,'' is
the way director Dr A.N. Safaya described the social impact of
the charitable hospital that treats patients free of cost, at
a press meet organised on the occasion. The hospital has
performed over 1,000 cath lab procedures and treated more than
30,000 patients so far.
``The medical fraternity is shackled in the grip of
commercialism and the poor have no access to cardiac care.
While the government spends crores on defence equipment, it is
hardly doing anything on medicare. This is defence against
disease,'' Dr Safaya asserted. He described the treatment here
as a combination of medical and spiritual healing. ``Here,
love is part of the medicare and patients who have given up
hope, develop confidence. It is a temple of medicine.''
Dr A.S. Hegde, head of neuro-sciences at the hospital, maintained that the infrastructure here is the best in the
country and as good as any in the world. ``Not charging
patients removes a lot of stress on both the doctors and
patients. We use the best of implants and systems without
having to worry about the cost factor.''
The hospital has state-of-the-art equipment such as the
Stealth Station Neuro Navigation System that is not available
anywhere else in the country, he added.
Dr Shekhar Rao, head of cardiac surgery, said the hospital is
only one of the few in the country that has treated a wide
spectrum of heart diseases. ``We have treated every
conceivable heart condition across all age groups.'' As also
many cases refused at other hospitals.
Patients have come here from all over the country, and even
Nepal and Sri Lanka. ``I had a heart problem that required
surgery and had no money. Someone told me of this facility and
I came here,'' said Kalyan Singh, a farmer from Madhya Pradesh.
``We wish more people build such hospitals,'' said Dr Safaya.
He described the project as an expression of Baba's love for
the underprivileged and in keeping with his doctrine that
medical care is a fundamental right that should be made
available to all, free of cost.
The hospital treats every sort of cardiology and neuro
disorders. For whom an arterial block in the heart means the
end of the road, this hospital is the beacon of hope. In the
words of the hospital staffers: ``it is Baba's immense love in