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Source: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/cms.dll/articleshow?msid=646815

THURSDAY, APRIL 29, 2004
THE TIMES OF INDIA

CITIES: BANGALORE

POWERED BY
TIMESCITY.COM

Super-speciality hospital touches 2.5 lakh cases
B.S. MANU RAO
TIMES NEWS NETWORK
[ THURSDAY, APRIL 29, 2004 02:32:25 AM ]

BANGALORE: A 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 Medical Trust.

Since 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.

"This 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.

Here, 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.

"Philanthropic 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."'

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