Monday, July 14, 2008

Don't go to this place

I'm p*ssed off. Poor Dew has had a slight stomach upset, diarrhea and so we wanted to take her to the doctor. Nothing serious, just precautionary. She's active and looks ok except that we need to change her nappy 3 times a day. Its a bit green but that's not the point of this post. The last time this happened, we were a bit late on things and so it got a bit worse. This time we did not want to take any changes.

A friend (unmarried, no kids but has plenty of sisters and so has experience with kids that way) suggested this doctor near Deve Gowda Petrol bunk. The last time around, there was a huge rush, and we had to go in the afternoon. However, this time we decided to take an appointment.

Step 1 - 9.30 AM. Eva gives a call to the clinic. Does not get through. Keeps trying.
Step 2 - 10.00 AM. Eva gets through but the receptionist is very rude and says that all appointments are full. She asks if she can walk in. He says no. She asks for an appointment in the evening but he still says NO. Its not possible to give an appointment in the evening. If we need an appointment in the evening then we should call in the evening.
Step 3 - We feel that the doctor is good and so we decide to walk in anyways after lunch. We reach the clinic at 1.15.
Step 4 - We ask the receptionist if he can take down D's name. He haughtly says - NO but we can wait. I talk to the low-life receptionist about the process to get an appointment. He says that people wait in a queue from 8.45 onwards and that they get appointments for 9.30 onwards. Calling at 9.30 does not guarantee an appointment. WTF?? Essentially the idiot says that there is no way to take an appointment even the board outside loudly proclaims that there will be no consultation without an appointment.
Step 5 - At 1.45 we ask again how long it will take. The nasty receptionist just says he will let us know. We wait for a few more minutes and ask again. This time he takes down her name and says that there are 3 people ahead. A couple of women walk in with kids and ask if the doctor is available. The receptionist takes one look at them, decides that they are economically disadvantaged and tells them that "they should call before coming". The feisty lady replies saying that she tried but didn't get through. So, there was no option but for her to come directly.
Step 6 - At 2.00 doctor leaves for lunch. That's not a problem because its a tough day for him as well and as a human being he needs to eat.
Step 7 - We ask the psychopathic receptionist how long will the doctor take. He rudely replies 10 mins.
Step 8 - Its 2.30. No sign of the doctor and the mad receptionist is no help.
Step 9 - Its 2.45. Decide to leave and go back home.

There's another doctor in BTM that we will go to. Atleast the reception is pretty friendly. 6.00 PM I will pick up Eva from her workplace and we will go there.

Note that I have no complaints about the doctor but the whole setup is rubbish.
1. The doctor charges more than Sagar Apollo Hospital OR the other Paediatrician in BTM.
2. There are no kid friendly material in the clinic to keep Dew busy. Just some sterile handouts on immunization. Compare this to Sagar Apollo where there is huge room just as a kids play area. Even the doctor in BTM has a few toys and eye catching posters for kids.
3. The whole clinic is stuffy and one cannot breathe. Sagar Apollo has excellent ventilation and is bright, clean and vibrant. The BTM clinic has the added advantage of being next to my in-laws place and so we can wait there if required.
4. More than all this, the receptionists and support staff at Sagar Apollo is unparallelled. This LKB receptionist at Dr. N's place near Deve Gowda petrol bunk is a real SOB. The doctor is very good but I'm never going back. At Sagar Apollo Dr. B is fantastic and very gentle in his prescriptions. Dr. V in BTM is very enthu and more than happy to listen to what we have to say. So, in no way will I say that they are not as good as Dr. N. The key difference is the receptionist. I remember the BTM clinic guy once even gave me a call back because the Doctor could not come and changed my appointment. That's exceptional service, but that's not what I'm complaining about.

Health care in India is not universal but this is rubbish. Hospitals such as Sagar are jam packed but they are well equiped and have trained support staff to make the whole heathcare package painless.

I lost a whole day of work, Eva lost 1/2 day's work and the worst part is that Dew still hasn't been able to see a doctor. I'm a pretty patient guys but this takes the cake. Even though we had to wait for 3 hours in the Registrar's office when we bought our apartment, it was clear that there was some work going on. People were moving in and out. Our lawyer kept us up to date on things and finally our job got done. At this clinic neither did our work get done nor was it pleasant and it definitely isn't worthwhile.

DONT GO TO THIS PLACE. The Doctor is good but the practice sucks. The receptionist will make the most patient of fathers tear his hair out and blog this rant. I love my daughter and I will NOT take her to this place where its stuffy, intolerable for not just me but her as well, where we have to wait in small room stuffed like sardines in a can.
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