There has been an increasing demand however, in the wealthier sector of the population, for health care centers and hospitals that not only offer excellent medical care but also greater luxury, the best amenities and of course great food, as hospital cuisine has developed a poor track record down the years.
Those who can pay up are more than willing to do so, and as a result more hospitals are catering to this lucrative market.
CEDARS-SINAI, LA - Hospital to the stars, this is where Hollywood goes to get healed! With Warhol's and Picasso's gracing the walls, a gourmet chef in the kitchen and views of the Hollywood hills, the Cedars Sinai certainly offers a luxurious stay. There are 32 Super Deluxe Suites at $912 apiece. The 4 OB suites are extremely popular with expecting celebrity moms who book the rooms as soon as they conceive! Here new moms can enjoy gourmet meals served with wine, fluffy robes, superior bed linens, and a 'doula' is on hand to assist in every possible way.
JOHNS HOPKINS HOSPITAL, BALTIMORE - With 15 rooms priced from $325 to $1,300, the luxury extras on offer here include waffle-weave robes, oriental throw rugs, and cherry headboards on beds. In-house attendants are trained in customer-service principles based on those of the Disney and Ritz-Carlton groups. Each room has a fax machine and a CD player in the clock radio. The unit is secure, with I.D. card-access only. The gourmet food is served by waiting staff decked in tuxedos.
MOUNT SANAI, NYC -The Eleven West Pavilion at the Mount Sinai has 19 rooms including four suites, priced from $395 to $1,400. This luxury unit has the feel of a resort rather than a hospital and employs managers with hospitality experience to help achieve this. The views are incomparable with windows overlooking Central Park and Madison Avenue. The elegantly-served gourmet meals are prepared by a registered dietician. While the suites offering even more extras such as DVD players and a bidet in the bathroom, other patients can still delight in Frette robes and 250-thread-count sheets. The medical service is renowned as among the highest-rated country-wide. "We don't say no," is the motto here.
ST LUKE'S EPISCOPAL, HOUSTON - The spacious rooms of the 6th-floor unit, known as the Terrace Suites, were remodeled in 1995. There are nine rooms priced from $300 to $700 each. Eye-catching floor-to-ceiling views of the Texas Medical Center are a feature of every room which also have DVD and CD players. The granite counters in the bathrooms complement the earthy tones of the decor. The chef prepares each meal in consultation with the clientele, taking health requirements and personal preferences into account. There is excellent security at the unit, attracting many international clients. The cardiac program at St Luke's is highly rated around the world.
WASHINTON HOSPITAL CENTRE, WASHINTON DC - Another hospital offering exceptionally high standards of security, with screened telephone calls and a Protective Service which works in conjunction with the Secret Service. The 5 Northwest Pavilion comprises 12 deluxe suites priced from $415 to $830 each. The rooms feature views of the National Cathedral and the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. Carefully selected attendants have annual training in order to be prepared for the most demanding of patients. The kitchen is able to cater for most requests, no matter how unusual. Luxurious extras include tuxedo-clad waiters and 300-thread-count sheets.
Francois Botha is a well known author of many shoulder surgery newsletters and is also an editor at the leading South African shoulder problems portal.