The Sathya Sai Super-specialty Hospital, Puttaparthi
The so-called Super-Specialty Hospital in Puttaparthi is a private undertaking. It is not open to independent health inspections by regulatory bodies, nor is its admission policy accountable to anyone because it is a non-public institution. Originally promoted by Sai baba as a free service to the poor of the region who could not afford health care or heart operations, it is less known to the public that it provides services to Sathya Sai devotees in India and from abroad (who visit for the purpose of treatments and operations etc.). Foreigners are apparently required to donate or can be charged with a bill. It is reported - and certainly likely that this hospital's services are permitted to persons of some note or wealth who Sai Baba wished to bring into his fold, both from abroad and in Indias.
Several foreign followers who obtained treatment at the super specialty hospital, expecting to avoid expense, have dared to speak out and tell that and were expected to donate accordingly or asked to pay fees.
The SSSIHMS, Puttaparthy (Sathya Sai Institute of Medical Sciences) is but a relatively most modest contribution to the massive health problems in India, especially for the vast peasant populace. The close servitor of Sai Baba - a veteran and prestigious Goenka prize-winning economic journalist V.K. Narasimhan - told me he considered it to be a huge waste of the money donated, rather being a flagship to promote Sathya Sai Baba himself and his various eclectic doctrines. VKN thought the money could have been better employed as prophylactic medicine and out-patient clinics for huge numbers of the poor, such as in ensuring that all received necessary vitamins and simple medicines, rather than in performing a limited number of very high-tech operations, mostly apparently done voluntarily by foreign devotee surgeons. Narasimhan was slowly weaned from his original scepticism because of the praise and attention Sathya Sai Baba poured on him, also taking him on a tour of the wards. Yet Narasimhan who I knew extremely well, was very prone to flattery and - as an old age and fragile widower - had become dependent on Sai Baba's ashram support. There has been public controversy about the clinical cleanliness in the hospital and about the claimed results, especially by Dr. Sara Pavan - an Indian born anaesthetist who left his postion in Australia to work there, but who came into conflict with the principal of the hospital and was suspended by Sai Baba (reinstated considerably later when he had presumably 'learned his lesson'. The degree of filth found and the re-use of old syringes were among the reasons given for strictly avoiding becoming a patient there.I saw syringes in ashtrays when I visited his hospital in 1996. A Sai Baba high profile western follower, a classical musician and lecturer at his college at Puttaparthi, David Bailey has told: “I know Sara Pavan who is the top anaesthetist from Australia who’s there all the time, and he said to me ‘David, you never, ever, ever let anybody come to this hospital because they do not understand hygiene’”. See source: Part Two – Transcript of David Bailey’s account by phone (hear audio file) of his disaffection in 1999 (to Thomas Wiehe).
A former friend of mine from the USA, a retired engineer, attended an interview with Sai Baba in the early 1990s where a person asked why the hospital accommodation had stood empty for nearly 2 years. Sathya Sai Baba had replied that it was to give time for the snakes and scorpions to leave.One suspects that this was untrue and that other reasons - inefficiency, corruption and the like were the cause. Apropos, Sai Baba has said:-
“Many sit here near to me. But are they dear? There are scorpions and snakes near to me in Puttaparthi. Are they dear? No!” (Sathya Sai Speaks new ed. Vol. 25. Ch 9, p. 94). Perhaps he was (also) referring to the many who wished to get some kind of sinecure or benefit from the hospital - like free accommodation, who would not have waited indefinitely for this... but that is rather a far-fetched reason for such a huge waste of resources involved in letting a major complex stand empty and unused for so long.
In a discourse after an earlier speaker had spoken extensively about the achievements of the Sai hospital siad: "I always advise the doctors not to publicise what we do in the hospital. There are several wonderful things that are happening."
(Discourse published under the heading 'Give Help Without Publicity' in his journal Sanathana Sarathi October 2003, p. 295)
Directly thereafter he boasts at considerable length about the supposedly marvellous achievements of the hospital, citing two individual cases! The complete discrepancy between Sai Baba's word and deed is seen again and here within the space of two sentences. He well knew, of course, that this publicity for HIS work was blasted out through huge loudspeakers set all around the ashram, and that it would be printed and air-mailed to tens of thousands, posted on various of his official websites and also sent out repeatedly on his own world-wide radio! His advice 'Give Help Without Publicity' is exposed as completely hollow hypocrisy. What a pathetic parody of true spirituality, what a demonstration of wily chutzpah to hook the vulnerable and gullible!
Sai Baba's braggaddocio about his loving selfless service - literally claiming it to be thousands of times more than anyone else does seems overdone from one who claims to be the father and mother of all beings, the creator and sustainer of the universe is like manna from heaven to his unquestioning and manipulated devotees who imagine themselves protected from untruth while insulated from it within impenetratable thick cocoons of blind faith ! The Sathya Sai Organisation and many of his followers regurgitate his words and claims without further thought in countless articles, books galore, on dozens of websites, in films (often exhibiting public service by his followers). Also in repeated photo exhibitions (to which all centres in the world have to send details and pictures of service activities (however pointless or piddling), and in constant self-serving radio broadcasts (Radio Sai). Sai VIPs who are selected for the organisation by him hired the most expensive venues in big cities (New York, San Francisco, London, Melbourne etc.) to propagate and propagandize beyond all modesty.
Sai Baba also mentioned about boys nightly sharing his bedroom, as he has previously stated is a fact - one which is also well known to ashram residents and regulars. He said: "These boys from the hospital sleep on the ground floor while I stay on the first floor. They discuss hospital related matters. I keep telling them, 'Do not speak about them anywhere outside'. " Yet he had just sat through one of these boy's long glowing account of the achievements of the hospital! Such brazen duplicity shows Sai Baba's strong desire to have information about 'His' hospitals spread loud and far. The official Radio Sai website - and expensive media undertaking run by his 'tested' follower, co-conspirator and cover-up agent - Dr. G. Venkataraman - is continuously devoted only to such propaganda, though it is doubtful that more than a handful of dvotees can bother to listen to all that repetitive sameness.
In that discourse, Sai Baba also waxed large about having personally allowed the use of an injection costing Rs. 80,000.- to save one patient's life. He said, "Any amount should be spent to save the life of the patient. I shall bear the expenses..." Yet how can he pay out of his own pocket, who has no pocket? Using such huge sums on single injections is virtually an affront to the millions of poor in India who can't even afford the simplest proper medicines or treatments. His super-costly and over-opulent hospital buildings which promote him graphically and with his words as wall quotations send rather much the same message. He also said in his discourse: "One patient from Nepal had his heart on his right side! Our doctors have shifted it back to the correct location. I told the doctors that no one needed to be informed about this. People may accuse us of praising ourselves." What cheek, he informed blatantly - his hypocrisy a transparent parody of itself. Sai Baba has always praised himself to the heavens, as no one can deny. Further: "Thousands of students have received education in our university totally free of cost. But we have never publicised the fact." So he unrepentingly blazoned it! Further, it is NOT true that he has not publicised this before. It has been mentioned constantly in discourses and in many interviews.
See the incisive analysis of what data could be tracked downby the former President of the Moscow Sathya Sai Centre and head of Education in Human Values in Russia, Sergei Badaev:-
SUPER SPECIALTY HOSPITALS AS TWO-FACED PROJECTS