steady stream of patients reaches the Sri Sathya Sai Institute
of Higher Medical Sciencesí super-speciality hospital in
Whitefield, and has now touched a landmark of 2.5 lakh.
Most of them belong to the
lower income group, and many come in from Nepal, Sri Lanka,
South Africa and even some European countries. "The cases we
have treated are from the economically weaker sections. Free
healthcare and life-saving procedures have wider ramifications.
It saves entire families from destitution," says Dr A.N.
Safaya, director of the hospital, a unit of Sri Sathya Sai
inception in January 2001, doctors here have performed
complicated procedures in cardiac and neuro branches, with
state-of-the-art technology. In commercial terms, the cost of
treatment meted out free is around Rs 150 crore. Lakhs of
patients depend entirely on the hospital.
hospital serves as a model. Many said it was not possible to
offer this level of care free of cost, but we have done it,"
says Dr Safaya.
holistic healthcare is the mantra. Procedures apart, thousands
use the free cardiac out-patient care that is well beyond
their means. Counselling is also part of treatment.
bodies and lateral medical agencies should replicate this
model," says Dr P.K. Dash, chief of cardiology. According to
him, at least another 900 beds of tertiary care facility are
needed immediately in Bangalore. "Cardiac treatment is beyond
the reach of many and we have to bring it to them. It seems
daunting, but it isnít impossible."'