Let’s Not Rain on Schlapper’s Charade
By William J. Furney
The Bali Times
The only discernable policemen at Sanglah Hospi-tal in Denpasar mid-morning last Friday was a youngish pair stationed at an ATM beside the emergency room unit (emergency funds?) that was being replenished. As the routine goes, one was brandishing an automatic rifle.
On a saunter around the facility – Bali’s main, government-funded hospital that caters to those in surroundings islands too and so is always influxed (and in flux) – it was unusually uncrowded and there was an abnormal perception of order about. But it was a Friday, a flimsy workday for government bodies in Indonesia.
Deciding not to drop in on some doctors I know, I headed over to the international wing, now accompanied by an Australian journalist who was also on the scene. She had been caught by security, the previous day, wandering around the wing’s gardens seeking signs of persons on balconies seeking rare peeks at the world.
More of a separate hospital, one that caters to the somewhat well-to-do, the wing – here:
– resembles more of an office block or three-star hotel (although to be fair there are no swimming pools) than a medical centre. Indeed, the foyer comprises a café, a bank and a management office, as well as a dispensary and sweeping reception desk. All it is missing is a minimart (Circle K franchise, anyone? God knows, Bali needs more of them).
My friend and I approached reception and told a flustered woman a family member was thinking about checking in for a procedure and that we had been sent ahead on a type of reconnaissance mission to check out the digs. What we wanted, we said, was a gawk around the rooms. (This was to give us an idea, and photos, of the accommodation of any celebrity patients.)
But our hopes and plans were swiftly dashed. Fully booked, we were told, no room at this inn! There are 28, of two types. However, we were led to the foyer management office and shown photographs in clunky picture albums and we oogled eagerly. Top-of-the-range comes in at Rp2.2 million a day, we were told, and that includes a daily consultation by a specialist and nursing services. Drugs and procedures are extra, and you have to pay every three days.
“It’s about the same price as staying at a good hotel in Bali,” my friend said. Hotel Sanglah? I ventured, casting my mind to a similarly themed facility in Kerobokan.
After all, for some, a change is as good as a rest.