On January 14, 2011, our fantastic fourteen had the opportunity to visit Medanta Medicity in Delhi India. This facility is in the private sector of India’s healthcare system and strongly encourages medical tourism. Medical tourism is a profitable business for India because they have world class doctors and are able to offer their services for widely affordable prices to neighboring developed countries. This is in large part due to low labor costs in India. The hospital has had patients from Pakistan, Afganistan, Iran, Africa, United States, Denmark, Canada, and many countries around the Persian Gulf. Their first international patient was an American chef, who traveled the distance when the site opened to receive a knee replacement. The hospital has been open a little over a year and already has plans to expand. They plan to build a hotel across from the hospital for the patient’s family to wait while they are recovering as well as pediatric hospital.
After arriving, our group was led on a tour of the facility and I would like to share some of the highlights. Medicity is the largest hospital in the area, with fifteen floor, 1600 hospital beds, 350 beds in the ICU, and 45 operating rooms. We were able to observe the cancer floor, cardiac unit, surgical floor, diagnostics, and the blood bank. All the equipment was similar to the U.S. and appeared to look like one of our modern hospitals back home, only larger. They have on staff close to 750 doctors and 3000 nurses. This makes their nurse to patient ratio 1:1 in critical care, 2:1 in the step down unit, and 4:1 in surgical and general wards. The nurses wore outfits similar to scrubs (instead of traditional Indian saris) and doctors protected patients from infection by wearing gloves, masks, and even booties. The patient rooms were very cozy and included a mural, patient bed, couch, telephone, plasma TV, shower, toilet, and a computer for patient charting in every room. The waiting rooms are luxurious, with leather reclining chairs and separate waiting areas for men, women, and international travelers who may require translators.
After the tour, we were able to meet with the vice president, Navheet Malhotra who shared with us the philosophy behind Medicity as well as answered our questions. He invites Americans to come to his hospital and receive a “package deal”. Medical tourist patients are treated like family, they are picked up from the airport, wined and dined, and taken out to see the sites before their surgeries. He explained that this hospital was built on a dream, by asking the best doctors what they would want in their hospital and finding a way to make it happen. Navheet explained, “If you aim for the stars, then you won’t end up with mud in your hands.” This is one of the most modern hospitals we saw while in India, and I can say with confidence, if I got sick please take me there!