Indian Hospital—Medical Tourism
Here are some pictures from our November/December 2012 visit to Bangalore for a hip operation—firstname.lastname@example.org
Stopover at Dubai: aquarium at Atlantis Hotel on outer edge of the palm island group
Our room with giant dance floor
View of apartments behind the hospital
View of back of the hospital, also from our window in the Executive Wing
My conference room while Pat is sleeping; doubles as a WC.
Okay, we did not see the Red Baby Panda (found in Nepal & China) here but I put him here anyway.
Our room at the Blue Jay Hotel, which is next to the hospital. This made it convenient to go see the doctors for follow-up adjustments, staple removal, pharmacy etc. At $57/night includes breakfast.
The hospital sends over one or two staffmembers to the hotel to take our order for lunch and dinner daily. And Abbas (also from the hospital) checks in daily to see if we need anything--like providing a car and driver to take us to a modern store for clothes shopping. Every day amongst the literally hundreds we see in the hospital (I have never seen a hospital so crowded with people and there's another hospital next door to ours!), there are numerous staff that we recognize and we have waving/smiling relationship with... security, attendants, nurses, doctors, execs plus patients and their family. Some of the other foreign patients are from Nigeria or Kenya and because they speak English well we can share our puzzlement when we get hot milk on our corn flakes, occasional cold omlettes, and other mysteries... and encourage each other about medical progress with thanks be to God.
Here's a map of the area around the hospital where you will see where Pat expanded her walking range from 20' the first day to 1000' and today close to a mile!
Fresh & More, Bill's favorite store in Bangalore! A little grocery about 2 blocks from the hospital, jammed with drinks, toiletries, household items and snacks--but be forewarned: 90% of goodies are hot and spicy--even Surprise Brand Sugar Cookies have Chili Powder ...plus the friendliest staff who will take you the nearby money-changer's office even though you have just met.
The manager Aneesh.
Bakery (below) next to Fresh & More has small cakes for a quarter (12 Rupees). This is also the store where I bought our first Coke for medicinal purposes. Pat felt that only it would do after the drugs and spicey food unsettled her stomach.
But there is no Coke machine in the hospital (they have this thing about healthy food on campus but overlook the sun-surface hot spices). So I talked a doctor into taking my dollar since he was going to exchange money for another foreign patient and going off duty shortly, we went on that evening Coke run to the Bakery.
Not all the stores are so up-to-date.
Walking up a more residential street we passed a school letting out for lunch. The kids had uniforms on (like in Belize; it's a Catholic school) and they seemed to be bit fascinated with us. So as we headed past them, one of the girls calls back "Good-bye auntie!" And so we turned and waved then they turned to come and join us. Then soon we had lots of kids asking us where we were from and Pat was polite enough to ask if they had eaten. People are always asking into the afternoon even: "have you had breakfast?" and not just hospital employees--but even one guy at the Fresh & More did. They said they were heading home to eat. We were then amused by the first water buffalo walking down the street. I had seen numerous pedestrian cows on the road in 1979. Walked by a big Honeywell campus of buildings each named after a planet.
Eagle eye Pat noticed an unusually far-out building...
Before we started taking the camera along, we found a store that had a nice sign on it saying Drug House. A men's tailor, Standard Suitings, has a slogan "God made them men, we make them gentlemen". Indeed they dress rather conservatively. So we didn't wear shorts like in Belize.
Even though closer to the equator (13° north vs. Belize's 17° north) at 70-85° and 60-70% humidity, the weather is milder than Belize. Even though in the south of India, altitude is high for a major Indian city at 3000' according to my new Facebook friend, Paul, who now lives in England. He came back to see his family and re-establish citizenship. While back in Bangalore, he is working in the Hospital's pharmacy and when we were down to about 60 Rupees ($1.12 which would have bought us one more meal), he paid for our 143 Rupee order of pills ($2.86). So I finally got the ATM working and ran back to pay him and he said "you didn't have to do that" and I said "YOU didn't have to pay for it for us". So after I insisted, he relented and took the money.
But this was not the only case of generosity as someone else offered to pay for something for us. Tuk-tuk (tiny 3-wheeled taxi) drivers are getting 80 Rupees ($1.60) for a half hour round-trip journey here and people are so willing to pay for us?!
Saturday evening (early morning for you) we will head back through Dubai on Emirates Airlines but will have less of a layover on Sunday and will spend it all in the airport instead of touring ...probably buying inexpensive water, chocolate and perhaps our first McDonalds French Fries in 13 months. So below I have placed some photos from our whirlwind sightseeing tour that we took here while on the way to India. So where have we been? On the map, (A) is Dubai in the United Arab Emirates and (B) is Bangalore (or Bengaluru) in southern India.
Now here's the Dubai area map that shows the 3 groups of artificial island groups (known to their friends as Archie) each about 5x5 miles. The first two are shaped like a palm tree to maximize the amount of beachfront for the homes and condos and the third is a map of the world. I think only Lebannon and France are occupied and reached only by a boat. The middle group has a road to the end and the Atlantis Hotel resort complex.
The tallest building in the world, Burj Khalifa at 828 meters (or 2717', which means tha the top is just below Bangalore's average altitude) only has 160 floors which must mean that there are a lot of high ceilings on many or all floors. Burj means tower and Khalifa is the name of the current President of the United Arab Emirates and emir of Abu Dhabi, His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan or proably "K" for short. He provided the US $10 Billion to Dubai to bail out their excess real estate and other developments in 2008--and thereby got his name on the building.
Here's a map that shows the scale of the Palm Island group and the road that leads to the Atlantis Hotel.
One of the "fronds" where condos and houses are located.
The Atlantis Hotel complex and causeway to reach it from the center of the palm tree road.
At the Atlantis The Palm Hotel overlooking the Persian Gulf on the Arabian Sea, you can rent the suite that is at the top of the arch.
The Royal Bridge Suite $35,112.10/night
The ultimate in exclusivity, privacy and luxury
Super suite benefits include:
Maximum occupancy 9: 6 adults and 3 children below 12 years of age. Full payment is required at the time of booking and is non-refundable.
If this is too much, the lowest room I could find for this weekend was $411/night.
Or when staying any where you can go to the very clean public beach...
Some of the ATM's here dispense real wealth: gold.
Pat had always been fascinated with their indoor ski mountain in the "middle of the desert" here so we made sure to go. Looking through the glass from the modern mall, you can see the bobsled run and ski lift. A lot of the people here and in India have never seen snow. I'm sure some of you will say "ship it all to 'em"!
Just amazing what can be done with seemingly unlimited credit card ...until it runs out again.
I write this Wednesday afternoon while most of you are still snoozing in the wee hours. After about 24 hours at a Dallas airport hotel, we should be back in Belize Monday evening.
12/12/12 2:49 PM