I personally believe in the Bangla saying 'aagey dorshondari porey goon bichari', I do get confused from the outside when I pass by say Westin, LabAid or Radisson and United Hospital. Both appear to me to be very attractive, both allure me of the 'service' inside. Its just that one would be in the hospitality sector and the other would be a..hospital. But the flashy decors and outlook do sway my fancy once in a while. Impressed with the 'dorshondari' we wanted to focus more on the 'goon bichari' of the hospitals, as I think the 'goon' or quality of service I would get in a hospital is more vital to me than the one I would get to pamper myself with in any hotel.
For some known or unknown reason, I've heard people saying that they don't trust our doctors. No matter how flashy and modern infrastructure our hospitals have, no matter how modern and German-made our medical equipments are, we do not seem to get the 'mental satisfaction' that we so desperately seek in neighboring India, Thailand or Singapore. The Bangladeshi medical tourists also point out that for some reason or the other, 'our hospitals' always diagnose wrong, so the prescription that follows, is consequently wrong too. So you are wasting your money, time and unfortunately...your life too. So their piece of advice is not to waste any of those...and seek 'peace of mind' and 'value for money' in Kolkata, Delhi, Vellore, Bangkok etc. Most of the tests done in our local hospitals would usually say that either you are completely fine, nothing is wrong OR you need an immediate operation.
Why do we hear this ever since we became patients ourselves? Brand gurus might be able to enlighten us whether our hospitals and especially the doctors need to re-brand themselves or not. But service branding is more difficult and medical service we are talking about? Well I guess we need better answers than that. Say Apollo opened in Dhaka and supposedly have created a brand value among the affluent who think they are elites in the society and they should be treated in Apollo. But many of them have secretly sidelined their dissatisfaction with the treatment they received there. Same goes for Square Hospitals. Having a few white skinned doctors or Indian doctors (Apollo) certainly helps for marketing stunts, but in the long run, I need myself and my loved ones to be in safe hands...when they are unwell. So you get nearly full marks in your external attractions, equipment quality and ofcourse advertisements and Habib's jingles etc. But what about my diagnosis? what about the cost? what about your cold-shouldered doctors who think they know all? what about grumpy staff? I am still shy in giving any marks on these criteria.
It goes without saying how much money is channeled out with Bangladeshi medical tourists. We keep on building 'aalishaan' hospitals and promotional campaigns. But how do you change the perception? How do you cure...the service...and the disease? How do you make our corporate hospitals more hospitable to patients? More patient with patients? I patiently wait....while time and life tick away.