Hospital Review

So Bojjandi was born in one of Delhi's new and privately run, posh hospitals - the kind that try and create the ambience of a 5-star hotel as opposed to antiseptic warehouse. Vir Sanghvi, the bon vivant, had recently written about the ways in which 5 star hotels gouge their clients. I mean, that pack of Lays Chips isn't going to taste any more gourmet because you consumed it in the hallowed portals of the Oberoi and paid Rs. 100 for the privilege, instead of buying it for Rs. 10 from the neighbourhood kirana store. But I think 5 star hotels come off as innocents compared to these new-fangled hospitals.

We'd asked for a single room when we did the pre-admission procedure at the hospital. Of course, when we arrived at the hospital on the due date, they said the single room we had opted for was unavailable. In fact, the process of figuring out which room was available was annoying - the guy would look up room numbers which seemed vacant, then call the head nurse and check and he'd veto all suggestions. He claimed it was because sometimes the room might be marked vacant because the patient had gone to surgery - seemed a bit weird and inefficient to me, but whatever. So anyway, they said we had the option of a double room or a more expensive single room - a deluxe classic. We asked what was the difference between a classic and a deluxe classic. The guy said the deluxe classic had a refrigerator, and the difference in room rates was Rs. 1000 a day. Why would they have a fridge in a hospital which doesn't allow outside food to be brought it? What am I going to store in it, my medicines? And why should I pay for the privilege?

Anyway, we decided that the total difference in costs would be minuscule over a 3 day stay and opted for the deluxe classic. That's when the guy broke the news - the difference in costs would be Rs. 15000, because all charges went up - the consultant fees, surgery fees, nursing fees...! WTF? Is the consultant going to stay hidden in the fridge? Are the nurses going to come running faster because my room has a fridge? Besides, for Rs. 15000, I can buy a new fridge and get it installed in the hospital!

Well, there really wasn't much point to the discussion because I was definite about a single room so we opted for the deluxe classic. Moved into the room and it looked identical to the one which Puddi had been hospitalised in earlier in the year. We looked around but didn't find any trace of a refrigerator in the room. Not that we were in need of one, but when I pay for something, I like to get full value. So we called the admin office and informed them and they told us that the fridge was only installed in the room after the patient had checked in. So the deal is - there's a useless fridge for which you are charged an additional amount, and once you move into an ordinary single room, they move it in so you can be charged extra! We followed up three times over the next one and a half days but the fridge never arrived, so we finally had a showdown with the admin department and refused to pay the additional fees.

Why do hospitals never manage to design good gowns? The one they gave me had half the strings missing - and the amount of flesh it revealed, it would have been welcome at a nudist camp.

The bland and tasteless food usually arrived in tandem with the nurse who wanted to start various procedures so it turned into bland, tasteless and cold food by the time I had it.

Hospitals should have signs on the entrance: Do not rest. The whole time we were there, we couldn't go to sleep for longer than fifteen minutes. One afternoon really took the cake. As soon as we went to sleep, the food service guys came to take away my lunch plates. Then, a few minutes later, the nurse came to put some saline drip on. Some minutes later, the housekeeping guy came to spray the room. Then another housekeeping guy came to check if he needed to empty the trash bin. He was followed by the Cafe Coffe Day guy who'd delivered A's lunch, coming by to give him his change back. Then another nursing department lady came by to stock medicines in my bedside drawer. Another helper came in to check if the water jug needed filling, and of course, it wasn't sufficient for her to merely check inside the jug to see if it was empty. She had to wake me up and ask if I needed her to refill the jug. Then came another guy from Cafe Coffee Day checking if A had ordered a burger. He had - but it had been delivered and consumed over an hour and a half back. Finally, a visitor for the room next door knocked and stumbled in, having not bothered to read the name on our room door nor the room number!

The check-out process was another revelation. Having been given the all-clear to leve at 8:30 am, we finally managed to make our getaway only by one o'clock, due to the various procedures.

I have to say that the nursing staff was very good and patient and quite prompt to appear when called. The hospital was nice and clean and didn't give us that sense of ill-health that one typically gets in a hospital. And their pre-operative procedures included getting a full medical history which made me feel reassured about the quality of care I'd be getting.

Suppandi moment at hospital: the nurses were meant to change the baby so we decided to take full advantage of postponing the diaper duties. But each time we called the nurse and asked for a diaper change, she'd ask:"You want me to change the baby's diaper?" Who else did she think was wearing a diaper?


Suki said…
Boy, horror story if there ever was one! I am SO totally adopting or having a homebirth :P.
It's really great that you didn't cough up the extra 15k. Sheesh, these people know how to fleece you!

And as for diapers... I have a diaper pin from my childhood that I still use on a skirt whose elastic has gone kaput. I'd left it at Baby's place months ago, saw it today and said "Is that yours or mine?"
He replies: "What would I do with a diaper pin?"
I say "I'm out of diapers too, you know!"
Rohini said…
Goodness! The refrigerator thing is bizarre. The hospital I delivered at had a deluxe room too but it had an extra bed for whoever was keeping the new mother company as opposed to just a chair in the regular single room. That I was willing to pay for...
Anonymous said…
what a nightmare.. And from a five star hospital.
bird's eye view said…
Suki - when I was in college I was adopting too. And now see where I've landed!

Rohini - yeah, the refri thing really got our goat - it's like the hospital didn't even care if they openly fleeced us.

Anon - one can only imagine how much worse govt hospitals would be!
desigirl said…
Sorry but I doubled over upon reading your descriptions!! Not the reaction you were aiming for, am sure!!! :D
bird's eye view said…
DG: that's fine - it's funny to me too in retrospect, but not soo much when we were there!

Popular posts from this blog

Violence against women awareness month

Winter in Delhi

The New Patriarchy...and what they can do with it