Rooms that cost Rs. 75,000 a day are not unusual at luxury hotels, but the rich and famous are now spending as much for staying at top-end hospitals.
That’s the bill for a day’s stay at Fortis Escorts Heart Institute’s presidential suite, which has, for over three decades, been occupied by those with a heart disorder, and a fat wallet. The Maharaja and Maharani suites at the upcoming ‘7-star’ Fortis Memorial Research Institute in Gurgaon are pegged to be priced even higher.
So what does all this money buy you? For starters, the bland hospital food tastes better in upscale rooms. Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals has an ex-chef from a Caribbean cruise ship who whips up a la carte meals — we’re talking wild mushroom soup, baked fish on couscous with asparagus, and creme brulee — for patients and their companions.
Other perks include a lounge, LCD TV, mini-refrigerator, wi-fi, hypo-allergenic furnishing and, in some cases, a rooftop garden.
But that’s not all. “The added price is for the confidentiality, security and comfort that come with top-end medical care, which is a given because a hospital is chosen first for the doctor’s skills and the treatment outcomes,” says Anjali Kapoor Bissell, vice president (special initiatives), Apollo Hospitals, the hospital of choice for political leaders.
Last fortnight, superstar Rajinikath’s daughter Aishwarya, who is married to Kolaveri Di singer-actor Dhanush, had the couple’s second baby at Apollo Chennai.
With personal photos and videos often getting leaked and ending up on YouTube, Facebook and Twitter, privacy is another priority for celebs looking for a place to recoup, even if it means paying a lot more. And high-end hospitals are eager to deliver.
When politician Vilasrao Deshmukh, who died last week, checked into Chennai’s Global Health City with liver and kidney failure last month, he stayed in a first-floor suite with highly-restricted access.
Almost all procedures cost about threefold in high-end rooms. A heart bypass surgery package that costs Rs. 2.5 lakh in a private room at Escorts costs Rs. 8 lakh is the presidential suite.
But the price tag hasn’t deterred those with ample cash. After her paparazzi-tracked pregnancy, actor Aishwarya Rai Bachchan chose Mumbai’s Seven Hills hospital to give birth to daughter Aaradhya.
So pleased were the Bachchans with the confidentiality that her megastar father-in-law Amitabh Bachchan chose the same hospital for a hernia surgery in February this year.
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