A visit to the hospital

Valet parking at the hospital

While I was in Australia, I had a suspicious mole (I always think that sounds like a pigmented bump with severe trust issues) removed from my leg. The stitches had to stay in for two weeks and were due for removal yesterday. So, I went to our local hospital — Dr L H Hiranandani Hospital (brief look at official site recommended, even if just to read ‘when a yet-to-be-born hospital , -however swanky, however massive, – aspires to mirror the long and illustrious career of a titan in the field, the usual concerns of hospital management and business blue-printing are the first to go out of the window’).  I rang up in the morning to make an appointment at the outpatient department. It took me three calls, and even on the final call I had such trouble understanding and making myself understood that I wasn’t entirely sure what I’d signed myself up for. 

The hospital is airy and modern and sits on top of a hill. They do what seems to be a roaring trade in medical tourism, which is one of India’s growth areas. I’ve certainly never been to a hospital with valet parking before.   As our driver Sagar and I walked up to the main doors from where we’d parked on the street, a family were getting into a cab with their new baby. I stood back a little to give them some space. Stopping is not a courtesy that is understood or appreciated in Mumbai (although I should stress that Mumbaikars can be very courteous indeed, just in their own way) and foot traffic simply eddied around me. They had no record of any appointment for me at the outpatient clinic — I do wonder whether there was a doctor waiting patiently for me in another part of the hospital. After explaining that I had no other doctor and no referral, I was eventually directed to wait for a ‘lady doctor’. The foyer had numerous signs stressing that the hospital took no responsibility for thefts, and that valuables should be left ‘with attendants’.  The hospital’s inadvertently sinister slogan is ‘we’ll treat you’. After a short wait a lady doctor appeared, lab coat over her sari. 

She swiftly and expertly removed my stitches, after having asked a few questions about the wound and how long the stitches had been in. The nurse put a sort of powder over the wound to staunch the bleeding, and then a remarkably space-age looking dressing. Putting the cart before the horse somewhat, I then went to register as a patient and to pay. The bill was Rs 745 (just under $AUD15), which I paid in cash. Getting small change was an issue (as it is almost everywhere in Mumbai), which meant that I had to borrow 5 rupees from Sagar. All in all, it took me just over an hour door to door.


  1. Sounds similar to Australian hosiptals I’ve visited in most respects – even down to the making of ficticious appointments. Have never worked out how they manage to have the staff to do this in a time of such restricted resourcin but somehow every hospital manages it. Had appt at asthma clinic once and was told there wasn’t one (not appt, clinic) by at least three receptionists before I stumbled in confusion and desperaton into the apparantly ficticious asthma clinic on my way out.

    On the plus side, hope this means stitches horror is not at an end and no further visits to any hospital required. Also is space age bandage one of those strange ones that only adheres to skin and looks like alfoil?

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