Hospitals In India Suck

Hampi Travel Blog

 › entry 34 of 67 › view all entries
The view from the guesthouse

First of all, I must apologize for the lack of new entries lately.  I’ve been a bit occupied.  I’ve been staying in Hampi for the past 10 days and there is indeed a story to tell.

A few notes on Hampi first:
- beautiful place: like an oasis full of ancient temples amid mountains of giant boulders
- loved watching the sunset at Hanuman temple
- fun times swimming at the lake dodging fake crocodiles
- awesome times driving down random roads surrounded by rice paddies
- love love love Hampi

So here’s my story.

On my forth day living at my new found haven I got a fever.  It broke by the evening but that night I had the pleasure of getting my first round of traveller’s diarrhea in India.

The view overlooking Hampi from Hanuman Temple a.k.a. Monkey Temple
  The entire next day it showed no signs of letting up and by morning of my third sick day, I woke up doubled over in pain due to severe stomach cramps.

Off to the nearest hospital I went.

Incidentally, the nearest hospital was just across the river and one town over, about an hour away from my haven of a guesthouse.

At first, I was optimistic.  The KLS Hospital in Hospet looked clean, professional, and welcoming of me.  Of course they welcomed me, I was a sick, rich foreigner. 

They took a blood sample and then hooked me up to an IV.  I was diagnosed with Acute Amoebic Dysentery.  I ended up having to stay overnight at the hospital away from my friends and all my belongings save my purse and the clothes on my back.  It was not fun.

A few notes on KLS Hospital:
- only one doctor
- only two nurses
- mosquitoes EVERYWHERE
- dank bathroom and no toilet paper provided
- no night gowns
- power outages common
- back-up generator was loud and slow to kick in
- had to track down nurse when my IV bag was empty and pumping out blood….TWICE
- at night, all staff went to sleep so all patients were left unmonitored

There was no nurse buzzer so if I needed anything it meant I had to wander into the lobby and wait for the nurse to come by.

In the morning, my American, Typhoid-stricken roommate and I wandered out onto the street looking to buy some food.  The staff didn’t start working until about 10am.  We were hungry.  I still had my IV needle stuck in me.

I haven’t even gotten to the scam part of my story.

By the time I checked out of the hospital, I was under the impression that all the paper work for my insurance was handled.  Usually, the patient is supposed to pay for all expenses up front and get reimbursed by the insurance company later.  However, a one-night hospital stay exceeded my cash funds and I needed my insurance company to handle all expenses up front.  It was that or pay in cash and have no money to leave town.

After spending a couple blissful days back at my guesthouse recovering in peace, the doctor came for a visit.  Him and some dude. 

They wanted me to pay cash for my hospital stay.  At first they tried to reason with me, then trick me, then bully me, then threaten me by calling in the police. 

I said great, call the police, I’d be happy to chat with them. 

I wonder if they think I’m bluffing.  I wonder if they know that I know that they’re trying to charge me Rs 11,000 for what I know to be a Rs 3,000 hospital bill. 

I wonder if they know, that I have proof that they’re trying to fraudulently claim Rs 28,000 from my insurance company.   That’s quite the mark up.  I mean, who ever heard of charging $750 US for the treatment of diarrhea? 

I also now know that the autorickshaw driver my friend randomly flagged down to drive us to the hospital got a mother of a commission to bring me to that particular private hospital.  Apparently, a lot of drivers in town have a deal with this one doctor.

This is India.

I’ve spent the last two days dodging my doctor.

I’m skipping town tomorrow.


Transitory says:
Saw the link for your blog via the forum, yikes! how horrible, thanks for warning.
Posted on: May 23, 2009
droonsta says:
LOL... hope your feeling better... u better send me lots of souveniers!!!!
Posted on: Mar 05, 2008
redzzed says:
nice pics .
A little food/drink advice :do not drink the water , do not clean your teeth in tap water , or eat anything washed in it .Use bottled water and MAKE SURE it is sealed and the seal is intact .
If u cant get bottled water , drink coconut milk (in a coconut) or buy bottled cola/mango/fruit juice , they are made using purified water .

Eating : for a simple and safe meal ..white rice with buffalo milk and sugar , or buy bananas/papaya/apples/tangerines available everywhere .

Hope this helps , getting sick in India is nooooooooooo joke . ;-)

Posted on: Mar 05, 2008
Join TravBuddy to leave comments, meet new friends and share travel tips!
The view from the guesthouse
The view from the guesthouse
The view overlooking Hampi from Ha…
The view overlooking Hampi from H…
photo by: sky69