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Thursday, May 12, 2011

NABH Accreditation – The Bitter Reality

Today I had the taste of a NABH Accredited hospital, Sir Ganga Ram Hospital. The taste was bitter, very-very bitter. The hospital is also ISO 9001 certified by TUV.

My wife has not been keeping well for some time. I wanted to get some expert medial opinion on this. A friend suggested Sir Ganga Ram Hospital. I took an appointment in Private OPD. It gave me first taste of the quality of service provided by this hospital. I rang up reception. I was told to call a number to get the appointment. I called this number but I was given another number. I called it but I was told to call the earlier number. I became impatient. I called the earlier number and demanded to know, what the hell is going on. This time I was given the appointment. I was asked to come and see the doctor between 1030 AM to 1200 PM. As our number was 14, we reached the hospital at 1105 AM. The doctor had just come and patient number 1 was still waiting outside.

The scene was worst than the general OPD. The place was choked with people. There were four doctors’ cabins but only seven seats. All other patients and their attendants were sanding. This was private OPD where patients are charged consultation fee of Rs. 500 to Rs. 1000.

A tough looking guy will occasionally come out of the cabin with a piece of paper in his hand; will utter some name which no body will understand. People will crowd around him and ask him which number has gone in. He will not reply and go back in. He was in tight shirt and jeans. He has forgotten to shave for last 2-3 days. I took him for a gym instructor but somebody told me that he was the hospital guy. No uniform, no ID card, no name badge.

Patients with prior appointment were treated like intruders. But those who had no appointment but knew some hospital guy were freely going in and getting consultation.

At 1200 PM sharp another hospital guy came and removed the nameplate of the doctor and inserted nameplate of the doctor. On asking I was told that the time slot for this doctor to sit in this cabin is over; and now another doctor will sit here. ‘What about these waiting patients?’, I asked and was told that this doctor will see patient in another cabin. He gave the right information.

After sometime the doctor came out and asked which cabin he can use? He was told of a cabin and he went in. All patients rushed towards that cabin. The duty of that tough looking guy was over. He was replaced by a girl, again not in hospital uniform. By this time many patients have become impatient. There was some pushing also.

We had to take a tough stand to secure our turn. We went in and consulted the doctor, took the address of his private clinic and came home. The doctor did not give the prescription on hospital letterhead but on his personal letterhead. Doctor was also not in hospital uniform.

Is this the quality of service being provided by NABH accredited hospitals? I will like NABH to answer this. I will also like TUV to answer this.