Free Medical Camps

Free Medical Camps
Tuesday, August 11, 2009

The Sathya Sai Service Organization of Fiji will undertake free medical services in the rural areas of Northern and Western Division with the assistance of medical volunteers and other personnel from New Zealand, Australia, including local practitioners.

Chairman of Sathya Sai Service Organization Dr Narendra Reddy says medical camps have been organized for villagers in Daku and Vunika and today they are conducting clinics in Tukavesi.

He says from this Friday the group will be providing services in the western division.

“This year we are having 2 big medical camps in 2 regions. One is being performed in Vanua Levu this week and there are 34 doctors in that group. 32 from New Zealand, 1 from Australia and I from Australia. The second group is coming later this week.”

He said the group of 32 Australian doctors will be concentrating largely on Viti Levu. He adds consultations will be provided by experienced medical personnel.

“These doctors come with all the different fields in medicine so they are gynecologists, dentists, physiotherapists, general practitioners and all the various fields in medicine. The group will consist of just about all the major needs of places. On that basis they come here.”

Dr Reddy says they have been organizing these free medical camps from 2005 and every year more than 4000 people benefit from this.

The Sai Medicare camps will be undertaken from 9.00am to 3.00pm daily.

Radio Fiji Reference

Official Sathya Sai Baba Website

Rehabilitation Scheme For State’s Patients

SSSIHMS

SSSIHMS


Rehabilitation Scheme For State’s Patients
– Aruna Chandaraju

The programme covering cardiac patients of SSSIHMS hailing from Karnataka began as a pilot project in 2005.

Anyone who has been discharged from a hospital after surgery, would know that once he pays his bills and leaves, the relationship with the hospital virtually ends there. Unless he himself were to renew contact by seeking a revisit-appointment. That is the norm anywhere.

Except at Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Medical Sciences (SSSIHMS), Bangalore, that offers zero-cost treatment to all patients. In a first-of-its kind project, called Sai Rehabilitation Programme, the hospital has been tracking all its cardiac-surgery patients across Karnataka including remote areas, and providing recuperative medical-rehabilitation services.

Moreover, this post-operative care is offered at a local doctor’s clinic i.e. almost at a patient’s doorstep, explains Programme Coordinator, M S Umesh Rao who, along with former SSSIHMS director Dr A N Safaya conceived of and developed the programme.

Thus the hospital’s protective umbrella covers the patient even after he leaves the hospital for his home, often hundreds of miles away.

Why this programme?
The management explained that post-surgery recuperative care––continuing doctor-consultations, regular medication and diagnostic tests, and lifestyle changes––is vital for cardiac patients. However, most patients are poor and illiterate––hence unlikely to understand this and do the needful. And considering that SSSIHMS gives its hi-tech treatment entirely free of cost, the doctors felt their efforts shouldn’t go waste once the patient returns home. Even in case of an aware patient wanting to return for a check-up, the effort and cost of travel involved could be daunting.

Rehab scheme
The Rehab Scheme uses the vast network of registered volunteers including doctors constituting Sri Sathya Sai Seva Organisation (SSSSO). This vast resource, divided district-wise, formed the starting point, explains Nagesh G Dhakappa, Karnataka State President, SSSSO.

So, how does the scheme work? First, the Sai Organisation enlists the support of volunteer-doctors across all 30 Karnataka districts.

The doctors are screened and attend an orientation workshop at SSSIHMS. These doctors–––who offer their services free of cost––submit their address and contact numbers to the hospital and to their own district’s Sai Organisation President and Coordinator all of whom then create a Rehab Scheme database.

When a patient from Karnataka––after surgery at SSSIHMS––is being discharged, his address is checked against the database to identify a doctor nearest his residence. This doctor’s contacts are given to the patient as part of his discharge summary.

He is asked to contact this doctor for three check-ups in the first six months following discharge, and also when he feels seriously unwell. Simultaneously, this doctor and relevant District President and Coordinator are contacted by SSSIHMS and given details of the patient being put under their charge and care.

With this two-way channel established, the patient visits this local doctor for regular consultations and lifestyle-check, all done free of cost.

This doctor also guides the patient in getting his medicines and follow-up tests from reliable pharmacists and labs.

The local doctor sends up the patient’s reports to SSSIHMS whose doctors are thus able to regularly monitor their patients from a distance. Based on these reports, if need be, SSSIHSM doctors might ask a patient to return to hospital––for further, zero-cost treatment.

In cases where the patient can’t afford the monthly medicines and tests (for eg, valve-replacement patients need expensive after-care), the local doctor and Sai Organisation members arrange free drugs and tests.

If a patient fails to report for check-up, the District President/Coordinator, who has his address, might even land up at his doorstep to take him to the clinic! The hospital, however, has been unable to reach out to a small percentage of patients who have relocated without informing SSSIHMS or local doctor of their new address.

Already, SSSIHMS has taken on the mammoth task of providing zero-cost, hi-tech medical care to thousands of patients. So, is not the Sai Rehab Programme a tremendous extra burden?

“Not at all,” replies Dr A S Hegde, Director, SSSIHMS, “It is an extension of the hospital’s charitable work. In fact, we derive great satisfaction from being able to extend our service to patients even after they leave us and are living far away.”

The programme covering cardiac patients of SSSIHMS hailing from Karnataka began as a pilot project in 2005.

Given its success, it’s now being replicated for rest-of-India patients beginning with Andhra Pradesh and Kerala.

A similar programme is being planned for neuro-patients too.

Deccan Herald Reference

Dr B Somaraju – The Leader Who Cares

Dr B Somaraju

Dr B Somaraju

Dr B Somaraju – The Leader Who Cares

Hailing from a small agriculturist family, Dr B Somaraju is not only proud to be associated with the Kalam-Raju stent, but he is equally proud of the fact that he has escalated his dream project’s worth from Rs 30 crore to Rs 300 crore in just a decade.

Born on 25 September, 1948, Dr Raju was born in to an agriculturist family. He did his MBBS and MD from Guntur Medical College, DM Cardiology from PGIMER, Chandigarh and PhD (HonCausa) from JNTU, Hyderabad. He worked as a Registrar in Endocrinology and Internal Medicine, PGIMER and Chandigarh and Registrar in Cardiology, PGIMER, Chandigarh.

Why an entrepreneur?
“We wanted to build a place where we could have professional satisfaction of an academic institution and freedom and flexibility of a private enterprise,” says Dr Somaraju.

Before being an entrepreneur
In 1978, Dr Raju joined Osmania Medical College as Assistant Professor in Cardiology. In 1983, he joined Nizam’s Institute of Medical Sciences (NIMS), Hyderabad as Assistant Professor in Cardiology. For one year, he was with Osmania General Hospital. Then from 1984 to 1993, he was with NIMS first as Additional Professor in cardiology division and later as the Dean and Professor.

His brush with private healthcare happened only when he along with his 60- member team cardiologists, cardiac surgeons, cardiac anaesthetists, cardio-vascular nurses and technicians came out of NIMS to start the Division of Cardiology at Mediciti Hospitals, Hyderabad in 1993.

The first move
In 1996, Dr Raju along with same colleagues formed the Care Foundation. Informs Dr Krishna Reddy, CEO of Care Hospital and a close aide of Dr Raju, “We presented a project with an integrated healthcare delivery model encompassing delivery, education and research aiming at making high quality care affordable and accessible to Technology Initiative fund of Government of India being administered by ICICI. Based on the strength of presentation an amount of six crore was sanctioned as soft loan. That became the seed crystal for subsequent Care story!”

An additional amount of about Rs 1.5 crore was mobilised from the team members, who borrowed loans at 24 per cent interest. The group first acquired AK Diagnostic Limited which was managing newly commissioned ABM Hospital in erstwhile premises of a three-star hotel at Nampally, Hyderabad.

“Things moved very fast in June 1997, wherein the 100-bed hospital was commissioned with cardiac services. This was within four weeks of beginning of our negotiations with the group,” says Dr Reddy.

Over the years
In 1998, it opened its second cardiology unit at Secunderbad. In 1999, it opened its third unit in Vizag. In the same year, neurosciences specialty was started at Nampally. “By 2000, from a single specialty hospital group, we wanted to be a multi-specialty hospital group. Thus, we founded our first multi-specialty tertiary care hospital at Banjara Hill by acquiring and renovating a sick five-star hotel (Bhaskara Palace Hotel),” says Dr Somaraju. It was 200 beds when it was commissioned and now has been scaled up to 405 beds.

From 2000 to 2005 there was a lull. In 2005, the group started its facility in Vijaywada with 100 beds. From 2006 onwards, the group decided to venture outside Andhra Pradesh. In December 2006, it opened a hospital in Nagpur, acquired a hospital in Pune in 2007 and started a JV project in Raipur in 2007.

“We have witnessed phenomenal growth among private healthcare providers in terms of capacity, geographic spread and business. Care grew from single specialty single unit to multi-specialty hospital chain with 12 units in five states; from 100 beds to over 2,000 beds; from 20 medical staff to 400; from 200 associates to 6,000 associates; from Rs 30 crore per annum revenue to over Rs 300 crore annual revenue over one decade,” says Dr Somaraju.

Revenues have been growing at 36 per cent year-on-year over the decade. “This year Care will have 500,000 out-patient visits, 100,000 admissions, 4,000 cardiac surgical procedures, 10,000 cath procedures, and 15,000 non-cardiac surgical procedures,” says Dr Somaraju.

Care has also been synonymous with research, encompassing epidemiological, basic sciences, clinical and translational research. There are approximately 60 ongoing clinical trials. Beginning with Kalam-Raju stent, translational research lead to cardiovascular stent development programme, including drug-eluting stents and polymer-based various diagnostic and therapeutic catheter technologies, it has been working in developing telemedicine and remote diagnostic and point-of-care solutions.

Overcoming roadblocks
Building the first hospital was not that difficult. “The major challenge has been to sustain Care philosophy founded on strong ethics and values with patient interests in the centre and Care model of an integrated system of delivery, education and research with professionals working in closely knit teams, especially when we are spreading to across the country,” says Dr Somaraju.

The group is mainly finding it difficult to recruit trained manpower in remote corners of the country. “It is also difficult to look for people who are in sync with our philosophy. For us healthcare is not a business model, it is a passion for medicine and an ongoing mission” says he.

Mistakes made and lessons learnt
The group has burnt its fingers in managing hospitals through franchisee models. “This model failed for us because of clash of interests. And after a couple of failure in this model, we decided to discontinue it,” says Dr Somaraju. Additionally, lack of knowledge of corporate governance and business management made the group go through some rough patch. “However, we are a learning organisation and our enterprise is an experiment in motion. While we steadfastly preserve our core philosophy, we provide a large framework to innovate,” says he.

Fears and apprehensions
“Frankly, we were more fearless and bolder when we begun than when we are attempting to spread our wings outside tested waters. We were ignorant of business and management. Sometimes, ignorance is bliss!” says Dr Somaraju.

Tips for entrepreneurship
“You need to have enormous passion coupled with hard work to drive your vision. If your purpose is patient care, everything else follows. You need to be the change that you want to bring,” says he.

Contribution to healthcare
Dr Somaraju and his team set up the Department of Cardiology at the charitable Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Medical Sciences, Puttaparthi and provided free professional services from 1991 to 1994. He had participated in randomised study of balloon mitral valvuloplasty Vs Surgical Closed Mitral Commissurotomy – Immediate and long-term results, Randomised Study of Balloon Mitral Valvuloplasty Vs Surgical Open Mitral Valvotomy – Immediate and long-term results. Dietary correlation’s with lipid profiles in patients with and without Coronary Artery Disease (CAD) in Indian population, Phase-III Clinical Investigation of EB Sideri’s Button device for closure of arterial septal defects and patent ductus arteriosus, indigenous development of cardiovascular catheters- diagnostic catheters, coronary angioplasty balloon, valvuloplasty balloon catheters.

He has been involved in indigenous development of external and implantable pacemakers in collaboration with Research Centre Imarat (RCI), Hyderabad, development of indigenous coronary stent in association with Defence Metallurgical Research Laboratory Centre (DMRL), Hyderabad, development of PC-based cardiac stress test system in association with Defence Bio-Engineering and Electromedical Laboratory (DEBEL), Bangalore.

He has conducted the first Percutaneous Transluminal Coronary Angioplasty (PTCA) in India on April 17, 1985. He has developed India’s first coronary stent (Kalam-Raju Stent) and implanted on December 22, 1996 at Mediciti Hospitals. This contributed to significant reduction of the cost of stents, as a whole, in India.

He has contributed to the introduction of India’s first Coronary Balloon Care Ultima on October 29, 1998. He also has written a book called ‘clinical methods in cardiology.’

Awards
He has been honoured with Padma Shri, ‘Uttama seva patra’ by Government of Andhra Pradesh, Asian Innovation Award in 1998 by The Far Eastern Economic Review, Andreas Gruentzig Memorial Award, 8th Yudhvir memorial award and Express Healthcare Lifetime Achievement Award.

An entrepreneur that he admires in healthcare
He respects Dr GN Rao of LV Prasad Eye Institute.

The road ahead
Dr Somaraju plans to scale up its tertiary care model by setting up new state-of-art hospitals in newer territories. His vision for the next decade is 10,000 beds. The Group may also consider going public.

He is also working on transforming the group to become an integrated healthcare delivery model. “We want to build a network of urban hospitals (both secondary and tertiary care models), country healthcare, disease management set-up, home-based healthcare and high-end quaternary care hospital. We have already started work on this on a pilot basis,” says Dr Reddy.

Baby With Abnormal Heart Breathes Easy Thanks To Sri Sathya Sai Institute Of Higher Medical Sciences

Sri Sathya Sai Institute Of Higher Medical Sciences Bangalore

Sri Sathya Sai Institute Of Higher Medical Sciences Bangalore

Baby With Abnormal Heart Breathes Easy Thanks To Sri Sathya Sai Institute Of Higher Medical Sciences
15 Aug 2008, 0742 hrs IST, B S MANU RAO,TNN

BANGALORE: Eight-month-old Sinan from Kerala was a bonny baby with a charming smile. But behind that brilliant smile was a baby with a serious problem. He was born with his aorta having an extra arch.

Sinan’s breathing was laborious with a choked wind pipe and could not eat solid food. It was a dangerous condition that required complicated and expensive surgery, beyond the means of his parents.

Surgeons at the Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Medical Sciences came to the rescue and performed a complex operation on the baby to rectify the complicated congenital defect. Now, the charming smile on Sinan’s face comes easier . “This was a rare condition known as double aortic arch. It accounts for only around one percent of all congenital heart diseases”, said Dr Choudary Voleti , the cardiac surgeon who led the surgical team.

The aorta is the biggest artery in the body and supplies blood pumped by the heart to all the vital organs. When it forms a ring around the wind and food pipes, it turns into a vice-like grip due to pressure of the blood inside the large artery.

“This made the surgery complicated and difficult. We had to identify a section of the arch in front of the wind and food pipes that we could sever and seal off. At the same time, we had to ensure it would not result in loss of blood circulation to any part of the body”, explains Dr Voleti.

After an angiography by Dr P K Dash, chief cardiologist at the hospital, and CT scan, the surgeons reached the aorta from the left side of the chest. The smaller of the two aortic arches was severed to let the food and wind pipes breathe normally.

“This procedure involved a team of paediatric cardiac surgeons to work in conjunction. These are rare surgeries and many surgeons never come across such cases through their careers”, adds Dr Voleti.

The charitable super speciality hospital saved another life. Many such babies, however, lose their lives for want of expensive healthcare. “This surgery would have cost over a lakh, not counting the diagnostic procedures. How can people from the economically weaker sections afford it?” asks a concerned Dr Voleti.

Reference

Also see:

Official Website For Sathya Sai Baba