A Hospital Stay is No Holiday

April 3, 2013 at 3:47 pm 1 comment

Open Magazine recently did a story on the emergence of luxury hospitals in India,  having worked in the healthcare sector long enough I know the story is not new and nor are the players in the private healthcare space who have created this niche. Think about it; when you sick or a family member is sick and I mean really unwell that need of the hour is beyond a family physician, how you prioritize your treatment options:

  • Figure out which specialist to consult

Or

  • Which hospital has the most comfortable mattress

 

  •  A hospital that offers high quality services, clean hygienic room and surroundings with round the clock attending doctors and medical staff

Or

  •  A hospital with cozy Coffee Shop and a plush lounge area with a Spa

 

  • Ask family and friends how they would rate a X hospital in terms of medical facilities based on past experience

Or

Ask family and friends how they would rate X hospital based on the grand repertoire of F&B menu they have for the “clients”

When I was a teenager and visited Indraparastha Apollo Hospital for the first time that was it! I declared if anything was to happen to me, it should only be this hospital where I should be admitted. Alas! I am not a teenager anymore; hospital is a place where one is out of need not choice! Even if I have a family member admitted last thought on my mind would be to avail spa services over pacing up and down in the waiting area or sitting by the beside of the patient.

Of course it’s a feel good factor, the ambience, services everything adds to cheer. Analjeet Singh, Founder Max Healthcare introduced an innovative idea of setting-up coffee shops in the lobbies so that anyone who steps in smells Coffee beans and not phenol. Simple logic of ‘First Impression’ but does it last?

Oddly, it doesn’t because, you still have to wait for your turn to meet the doc despite an appointment and paying a steep consultation fee. You do end-up spending extra 500 (on an average) on Coffee or food and no matter how nice, beautiful and pretty a hospital maybe, you want to exist it as soon as you can. After all a hospital is not a social hangout zone and never will be.

The business of healthcare is exciting and interests me to check out a new one. It makes me happy to work in one but I so wish we de-clutter the science of curing and the touch of care. Remember the logic, keep it simple silly! It works each time.

I would rather have polite staff (read my post on Indraprastha Apollo Hospital, New Delhi), speedy processes, an attentive nurse checking on my patient, counseling family on the diagnosis and condition of the patient, explaining the nature of tests, et al than worrying about what to serve for lunch (if he can eat at all).

On one hand you have Fortis Memorial Research Institute (Gurgaon); the newest medicity equipped with Theatre, Spa, Shopping Arcade and an Art Gallery and on other hand the same group has a hospital in Mumbai which has slum right across and kids defecating in open. So much for a view from the window or hygiene in the vicinity, it would be an appreciative initiative if the hospital built a few public loos for the slum dwellers to use. Why should they do it? It makes a good story which means lots of positive PR, the hospital earns Goodwill, will be seen as a healthcare provider offering access to basic amenities to the poor and helping in improving the area too.

Insurance pays then what reason I have to complain if luxury comes as part of the package with the hospital visit? Well I’d rather choose to spend and unwind with a holiday where one can enjoy stress-free indulgence.

Perhaps for the benefit of all, I should write a post on understanding the dynamics of your hospital visit or how to be a smart patient and caregiver. Your thoughts?

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Entry filed under: Me & Media. Tags: , , , , , .

Oi! Delhi… Love & Lessons from Dad

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. kavita devgan  |  April 5, 2013 at 1:04 pm

    I agree! I guess the only time all the frills can matter (or should matter) is when you have voluntarily gone to a hospital for say a cosmetic procedure or maybe to deliver a baby or some such similar non-emergency / happy procedure. In all other cases (including being there only for a flu gone bad), the only priority every one has (however rich!) is to get OUT quickly. And the coffee shops I think are a good idea gone bad. Taste the coffee in these hospital coffee shops and you’ll know what I mean.

    Reply

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