Narayana Hrudayalaya – a hospital in dire need of a heart transplant



I get to see many things in life, even if I dont want it, and one such is this hospital. Fate brought me here after my father had a tryst with heart related issues. After his pulse rate dipped drastically to 30 beats/min he had a temporary blackout and had to be rushed to Sagar hospital. Note that I said Sagar and not Sagar Apollo, as the two are now disentangled much like Congress and RJD 🙂

An angiogram test and a sinus node function test revealed more than just the surface. With about 30% blockade in the right coronary artery, and a low pulse rate varying by the minute, there was an urgent need to do something about such a heart condition. So we decided to try out Narayana Hrudayalaya, the much acclaimed hospital in Bengaluru for heart ailment treatments. The doctor had advised my father a pacemaker insertion procedure, which is pretty much a non invasive one these days, and hence we had to come over to NH for the same.

What follows below is a radically different version of what I really expected from a hospital such as NH. You can also consider it as a detailed review of the features of this hospital.

The cost of the entire procedure was pegged at close to two lakhs, and for about three days of stay. I will put down a few things which I find good and bad about this hospital which will make you decide whether a treatment here is really worth it.

The PROS first:

  • The hospital is big, and has enough space to walk around it, and is located in a rather tranquil stretch of NH7 (Hosur Road) beyond Electronics City.
  • For those worried about commuting this far from city center, there are more than the needed amount of buses coming to this location, a couple of volvo AC buses 356N and 600K directly into the hospital itself. So in about an hour, you can easily reach from anywhere.
  • The registration counter, and cash counters work well, and they answer most of your queries without ambiguity.
  • The experience of the doctors is good, and they are able to take critical decisions well. My father’s was a complicated case and they did their best. This is where NH excels in its chosen field and no hospital can come close to its achievements for sometime in the future.
  • This hospital discusses upfront on all costs involved and wants all surgery related deposits to be made upfront which is a good thing. All communication in his regard is clear

Now the CONS:

No hospital is without CONS. The reasons for the CONS is sometimes that the doctor is also the owner of the hospital, or the management and medical fraternity are completely out of sync. NH is no exception and here are its CONS

  • The PHONE in the room – There is absolutely no instructions on how to use the phone in the room, or any ready reckoner of the frequent numbers available.
  • The TOILET – this is of anglo indian type and perhaps not so comfortable for western toilet users. there is also NO tissue paper, which does not gel well with the image of this hospital being a world class one. I say this because if a hospital can accept cash in foreign currencies, it can surely do with some tissue paper in the loo!
  • The FOOD – I am not of the opinion that patients must be forced to take some food they dont like and NH precisely does this. My father was expected to buy a coupon booklet having food coupons for the three days of his stay even though there was an option that we could bring food from home. No proper explanation was given why this had to be so and why this was not part of the overall package charged to us during admission. Add to that the fact that no WATER bottle was given even to the patient and this issue gets rocky. Some small hospitals do better in this department compared to NH and surely NH can take a leaf or two in adopting best practices within the organization
  • The FRONT DESK service – is not the best in class and it sometimes takes a while for your request to even be heard and understood. Its easy to pacify patients or attendants, but its more than that to understand what they really want and when. The sensitivity and urgency is missing in the attitude.
  • The PRICE of food – is slightly on the higher side, and its strictly not meant to be so.
  • The arrogance of Hospital authorities towards villagers – This has always been a long standing tussle and while the hospital prefers to follow its rules, it also fails to realize not everyone in this country is literate and understand rules. It does not aim to educate people who cannot understand stuff, about its policies. I personally saw a villager get unruly within the premises and the counter staff and security whisking him away when one of his kin was in bad shape and admitted here.
  • No BUSINESS features – Ok everyone is really busy so much in life thanks to recession that even when their kith and kin are having surgeries, they still have to parallely work on their job. So I did not find even a single Wireless Internet Connection installed in the premises of NH anywhere. For a hospital earning in crores each day, is it too much to install even five WiFi hotspots? We are talking about technology going hand in hand with medicine. If it were five years earlier, I’d have discounted this fact, but now WiFi is like Water, you cant live without both!
  • No CAR park! – yes you heard it right, for a guy coming from miles away to a peaceful campus like NH, you are expected to dump your car in a small 25 x 25 ft muddy patch opposite the hospital. So much for professionalism. Wonderful! Dear westerners, do observe all this when you are here. Cheap India welcomes you.
  • PHARMACY is near the main gate – according to me this is a CON. Now how do you expect old people to walk miles together to just get some medicines. A tightly knit pharmacy within the hospital is much sought after.
  • the ATTITUDE of some people who attend to you – this is not a generic comment but specific to those individuals who screw up the hospitals name and fame by acting in a manner not so much like NH. Some attendants talk roughly to patients who already are enduring pain and agony. This is because of their illiteracy and ethics to handle such events, and the hospitals attitude of only being strict on them instead of educative to them about handling such situations.

The next time you want to decide coming over to Narayana Hrudayalaya, please think of the facts mentioned above and make decisions. If you are willing to overlook all of the above in lieu of the fact of presence of some experienced doctors, then its fine, but there are definitely hospitals which are having a good mix of both expertise and attitude to consider, otherwise. The choice is yours, since the mental peace is also yours! 🙂