High-tech torture

What’s in a multi-speciality hospital? A high rise building with marble floors, ventilated for ample light and air, aluminum framed transparent windows fitted with Venetian blinds facilitating to allow the desired light, providing all the comforts needed by a customer ie a patient? And above all an assurance of application of the latest technical know-how coupled with devoted service, both by the medical and para medical wings? All this has come to symbolise a present-day multi specialty hospital alluding to a perfect destination for a medical tourist, a recent product of the Indian tourism industry.

A recent bout of illness of my daughter provided me an opportunity to be in one such multi specialty hospital as her attendant. I rejoiced at this unanticipated leisure with the comforts of a star hotel. On an enquiry with the concerned authority of the hospital I was ushered into a twin sharing medical ward where my daughter was to be accommodated.

The co-patient hailing from a neighbouring state was already three days old to the hospital. My daughter was shifted to the ward after the surgery. She was often moaning with pain. While this was the situation on one side of the screen serving as the inter-patient border, the scene on the other side was different. The post operation recuperating patient and her attendant were finding it difficult to pass time. The idiot box provided in the ward came handy to them. Oblivious to the inconvenience caused to us, the duo continually enjoyed the programme on the blurting TV set.

After seven in the evening the scenario changed. There was a continuous flow of visitors commencing from the appointed hour till the end of the closing hours at nine. During this interval of time the ward got converted into a fish market. The idiot box was an added spice. The nuisance continued till 10 in the night with loud responses to the telephone enquires and speedy recovery wishes from relatives and friends.

The transformation in the structure of the building and its clean environment along with comforts has utterly failed to bring in the needed change in the attitude of the people. There is a long long way to go before the deep rooted ‘no concern for our fellow beings’ attitude is substituted by ‘utmost concern for our fellow beings,’ a finer aspect of the western culture.

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