It was a chilly October morning in 2016 when I drove to Rotterdam, to undergo a medical check-up. The check-up was part of my relocation process and was paid for by my employer. Only famous soccer players have to undergo such examinations and I felt very privileged, especially because this was being carried out at a specialized hospital. The hospital in Rotterdam, Travelclinic Havenziekenhuis, is one of the leading hospitals in the world for tropical illnesses. I spent more than 5 hours at the hospital conducting various medical tests, with a final green light for my travels. Two years have passed by and I haven’t encountered any major medical issues.
I’m a fan and believer of putting a lot of effort in having a solid way of working, both for work related tasks aswell as for personal things. I base my personal way of working on David Allen’s book ‘Getting things done’ and I use the Wunderlist platform to manage all the things that I need to do. I generally plan things for the upcoming week. However, for specific tasks I plan further ahead. There is also a category of tasks without a due date, which I check upon on a weekly basis. In the first week of 2019 I decided to move one the pending tasks on this list to the ‘this week’ segment and have it executed during the coming weekend. I approached one of my closest friends in India to advise me about this task – a full medical check-up – and she came up with the idea of doing it at Jupiter Hospital in Baner. That hospital was already on top of my list after my wife had undergone a similar check-up at another facility which turned out to be very messy. The hospital that my wife visited in Aundh was pretty good but the logistics of the check-up turned out to be a total disaster; a lot of waiting time between tests, but the most crucial remark she had was the miscommunication – or lack of communication – about the planning. I had however been to Jupiter for a foot-injury in 2018 and was very satisfied with the service.
Making the appointment at Jupiter Hospital was easy. My friend shared the contact details of the associate who was responsible for the planning of this test. This person called me only 10 minutes after I’d submitted some details about the required check-up via email. She asked me to come in on Friday at 11am and insisted to come sober, meaning I should not eat or drink after 10PM the night before. The Jupiter Hospital opened its doors more than a year ago and it still feels as if the builders and construction workers had just left the day before. The entrance is clean and organised and there are no signs of any damages, which is actually surprising as a lot of buildings in India are maintained poorly after they open their doors. The health check-up area is located on the ground floor and has a dedicated reception area. The process after my entrance had been a very smooth one. I opted for the most premium check-up, an extensive medical examination that would have costed me over 600 euro’s in Europe. I only paid a little more than 100 euro’s, which is a very smart deal if you look at the professionalism and high medical standards at this hospital.
It’s interesting to talk about the philosophical aspects of a medical examination, because you don’t receive anything but a piece of paper. As a consumer, one will only get a report with some graphs and numbers and a consult by a doctor who will inform you about your good health. As these hospitals are privately owned, one needs to be very clear about the possibility of recommended additional tests. The hospital staff could be driven by strong KPI’s and one of them is trying to sell you something more. I don’t believe in having too many market mechanisms in the healthcare sector, so I was completely aware of this possibility. And yes, my tests came up with some slightly abnormal blood values. Just to make sure, I opted for an additional test which turned out to be negative (they did not find anything). I will definitely go back after some time to recheck the specific blood values again.
Some people might say that I’ve paid over 100 euro’s for nothing, because there was no sign of any severe illness. However, I think the 100 euro’s has been a wise investment, because it gave me a feeling of confidence: I’m healthy, there is nothing to worry about but the traffic situation in IndiaJ. Although I haven’t had any major illnesses, I’m aware of the fact that I have been exposing myself to a lot of unhealthy and risky situations: walking around in polluted Delhi could definitely affect your lungs and a lot of tropical diseases are always around. And don’t forget the exposure to extremely high temperatures during the hot months of April, May and June.
Contrary to my wives’ experiences, I was being brought to every exam room by a ‘runner’, a hospital employee who carried my file and brought me next to the designated department for the upcoming exam. Furthermore: every time when I returned to the Health Check-Up reception desk, they immediately picked up my file to prepare me for my next test. I never had to wait too long. The longest wait time was 20 minutes, but they had informed me upfront that it would take that long and also gave me the option to return for some other test.
After the first blood samples had been collected, I was allowed to have some food their restaurant. The clean and welcoming restaurant is located on the first floor and serves a lot of Indian evergreens for breakfast. I took a plain dosa because they could not serve me an omelette (‘sorry sir, this is a vegetarian restaurant’). In addition I also took a fresh watermelon juice and a cappuccino. All the dishes were excellent and very welcoming, because I was very hungry. All of these items were included and I did not have to pay for the food; it was part of the premium health check-up package.
If you’re an expat or you are travelling to India for other purposes, I would strongly recommend that you spend some time here for a complete medical check-up. Find yourself a good recommended hospital and book an appointment, you won’t be disappointed.