April 15, 2009
There is a brand new hospital in Jaipur called Fortis. Super high-end, it is sleek, clean, and expensive – unlike anything I have ever seen in France.
I was quite relieved when it opened. I had always wondered where to go in case of emergency. Don’t get me wrong: there are hundreds of hospitals in Jaipur. It’s just a question of whether you’d like, your bones crushed and your stomach perforated, to be taken to “Okay Hospital”, or to “Soonwell Hospital”.
I do have a soft corner for “Theek Hai Hospital” (theek hai = it’s fine). Someone else apparently does, and, gutted to have been stolen the coolest name, called his clinic “TK Hospital”.
However, a spoilt brat by nature, I go to Fortis. That’s where the decent doctors have their consultations.
As you quickly discover when you live in India, privacy is not part of the vocabulary.
When you show up at the reception at Fortis, you are loudly asked to announce which doctor you are visiting, and for what reason. If you are there to pick up lab results, they will ask you if you have paid for it, and even though you have they will presume you haven’t – this is India after all – and double-check over the phone that yes, the smear test was paid for, but what about the hepatitis test?
They do hand them over in an envelope, but not before you have signed each sheet of results, conveniently laid on the counter for everyone to leisurely peep at. Only after the other 28 people standing next to you have blatantly read through your tests, will they be folded and placed in an envelope.
At the lab, there are only men. I had blood taken there twice, and am still to bump into a female. I asked the guy at the collection booth: “Why are there only men here? Don’t women come for tests?”