Gurgaon/New Delhi, March 3 (IANS) A full-fledged movie lounge, a spa, a gym and fast food outlets - a multi-speciality hospital has geared itself up to cater to the demands of its patients and their attendants apart from providing the latest in medical treatment.
Corporate hospitals in big Indian cities, particularly in the National Capital Region, are no longer concentrating on providing only health services to the patients but are also aiming at providing value-added services to patients and their attendants.
"During long surgeries, the stressed out attendants of patients don't wish to leave the premises of the hospital and at that moment watching a movie or having some good food without having to step out can be a positive distraction," Dilpreet Brar, Regional Director of Fortis Hospital in Gurgaon, told IANS.
The Gurgaon-based Fortis, apart from having a huge shopping arcade, a bakery, a spa, gym and a host of fast food outlets, has come up with a 36-seater movie theatre inside its premises that was opened Jan 19 to screen free film shows for the patients and their attendants.
Perhaps the first such movie theatre in India, it is located on the ground floor and shows the latest blockbusters.
The visitors to the hospitals desire for good quality and hygienic food. Thus, express outlets offer a range of heavy finger foods like sandwiches, hot-dogs, burgers, doughnuts and much more, Brar said.
This is not all.
Columbia Asia in Gurgaon has started its own chain of cafes rather than giving space to an outsider. The sprawling Columbia Cafe at the Columbia Asia Hospital also conducts cooking classes and regular food festivals along with food promotion activities.
"Not just the patient's families, even customers from the neighbourhood come in for a meal at our hospital considering the international standard of our food maintained throughout our chain of hospitals," Madhur Varma, Area General Manager of Columbia Asia, told IANS.
Plush restaurants at Indraprastha Apollo in Jasola Vihar in south Delhi and Columbia Asia's cafe have already gained popularity, according to the guests IANS spoke to.
Max Hospital in Gurgaon has given quality space to Whole Foods, while Max in Saket in south Delhi has The Kwality Express, Cafe Coffee Day, Sagar Ratna and Subway outlets for its visitors.
Sir Ganga Ram Hospital offers fine dining facilities in the hospital's premises, while Indraprastha Apollo has roped in major fast-food joints. Max Healthcare has a Cafe Coffee Day outlet.
Max Heart and Vascular Institute in Saket in South Delhi has a Subway outlet. Max Heathcare at Patparganj in east Delhi has Bikano and Cafe Express.
While a majority of people have appreciated this extravaganza in hospitals and consider it as a major attempt to "de-stress the care giver", many disapprove of it considering it to be a mere show-off to add to the hospitals' profile and to get more business.
"Hospitals are accredited on the nutritional quality of the food they provide to the patients and nutrition advice is a key component of their outpatient services. At the same time, they invite fast-food outlets to set up in prominent places within the hospital foyer," a patient's attendant, who declined to be named, told IANS.