June 3, 2008 14 Comments
I recently spent a couple of days at a hospital in Bangalore. While the drab green/grey/white walls can be a bore, there is a lot of humour especially because a hospital is probably the most far removed from the rest of our lives. Once, you enter into the confines of one, you get completely transformed — your priorities change, the way you interact with people changes etc.
But what would happen if we become as aggressive in a hospital as elsewhere? As in a mall? We all search for deals, try to get bargains … how would that pan out in a hospital?
- Special offer on hospitals meals — get double the quantity for half the price! (and still have food left since nobody wants to eat it)
- Replace one kidney, and we replace the second one for 50% off!
- Flat 25% off on CAT Scans every Thursday — avail of the offer now!
- Make one baby, and we give you two for the same price!
- New Arrivals: Injections that hurt 25% more at the same price — try them now!
- Tooth Fairy Special: Replace all 32 teeth for only Rs. 2000 — offer valid only for the next 2 days
- Visit a Neurologist and we let you consult a Psychiatrist absolutely free!
- Holiday offer: Stay 2 nights and 3 days in our special resort with a spa and nurse on call — get your brain replaced for as little as Rs. 15,000.
Better still, the following conversation:
Patient: Doctor, heart kya bhav diya?
Doctor: Bouji, yeh wala drunkard hai Rs. 5000, yeh wala cigarette peeta tha – Rs. 4000, Yeh bilkul normal tha – Rs. 10000
Patient: Theek daam batao bhaiya. Aajkal bahut daam badhane lage ho. Woh Reliance fresh mein toh 3000 ka mil raha hai.
Doctor: Bouji, ab woh le lo aap. Woh toh Tutankhamen ka nikaal ke bhech denge aapko.
And what about the advertisements? Will there be an ad-supported heart transplant? Will they put banner ads or text ads? How will they measure CPMs? How many times does the consumer want to buy everytime she looks at a saree or jewellery? They might even sell prepaid cards: After sometime, you would have to recharge if you wanted to continue breathing or your heart beating.
The way things are going — this day is not far. In my own hospital stay, they didn’t expedite the discharge process until somebody else had ‘checked into’ the other bed in the room (I was in twin-sharing).