In early 2009, we went to India to get a liver transplant for my mother and experienced something that I would not wish on anybody. I feel compelled to share these things about Indraprastha Apollo Hospital in New Delhi, India hopefully to spare someone else the pain and suffering that my mother, my family and myself have gone through with choosing to have a liver transplant done at this hospital.
As I mentioned earlier, my sole purpose of sharing this story is to inform others who may be thinking about going to India or abroad for any treatment. So if you or even someone you know who is debating whether or not to have a liver transplant done abroad, especially in Delhi, India at Apollo Hospital, I would recommend that you take every other avenue available to you before going overseas (so called medical tourism), especially to this hospital.
My family has gone through much pain and suffering since our decision to go to Apollo to have this liver transplant. The hygiene practiced by the Dr's and nurses in the hospital was pathetic and their attitudes toward the patients were not much better. They are also corrupt in Medical supplies & finances. They ask for cash outside of the normal lump sum fee they require for surgery – a kind of bribery/blackmailing. They get commissions from lab tests (that they sent patients to other labs, outside the Apollo hospital) and condos for their patients. There is absolutely no accountability for anything that goes wrong and we felt a lot of the time, they showed a careless attitude. They make up their own success rates. Once they have your money, surgery is completed and you are out of the hospital, you never hear another word from them, nor do they want to hear from you unless you would like to get admitted again. No follow-ups whatsoever. A money-making machine is all it is. Sad thing is that this Hospital is accredited by the Joint Commission International (JCI). Two doctors who I would like to acknowledge and give kudos are Dr. Lenin & a Lady Physio Therapist (sorry, I forgot her name) who were best at their jobs.
In US, we are having probably one of the biggest Healthcare debates going on in the history but do you really think that our Health System in the USA is that bad? The only way you can know if you get any treatment done from abroad and then compare. I am not arguing that we have the best Health care system. I am sure we can make it better from many ends, but it is definitely one of the best systems in the world.
One complaint I have from our health care system is that when my mother was sick with Hepatitis C and a failing liver, I checked with different Hospitals if they would treat her and at what cost, as she didn’t have any health insurance in the USA. Most hospitals charge around $350,000 for the liver transplant (assuming things would go normal) but I know for fact, if you have health insurance, the Insurance companies pay very little portion of it (PDP - predetermined payment), sometimes 10-20 percent only. So I asked all of the Hospitals which I contacted that if we pay cash up front, if they are willing to give us a discount, but NO hospital agreed. We were forced to take her to Apollo Hospital, Delhi, India where we could afford her treatment.
I have documented most of the issue we faced at this hospital below but I am not expecting everyone to read the whole thing, but please if you know someone who is thinking about getting the treatment done overseas, share this information with them. This whole information is also available at http://www.CaringBridge.org/visit/ApolloIndia
(/visit/ApolloIndia) . Feel free to leave your feedback on the website if you like.
Please read the journal (/visit/ApolloIndia/journal) for actual issues faced @ the Apollo hospital, New Delhi, India.