Saturday, January 05, 2013
54




Last year, I wrote about the various hospitals around town where you can have a baby. After doing some research we opted to head to Starcare because Mrs Sythe was expecting. We chose Starcare purely because of the good things we had heard about one of their Dr’s, Dr Anita Zutshi. This is a bit of a long post, so I'm warning you now!

We booked an appointment to see a Gynecologist and were unable to see Dr Anita and were referred to the other Dr at Starcare who handles pregnancies, Dr Bindu. After our first appointment, we decided we no longer wanted to see Dr Bindu as we just did not like her attitude, and purchased a package and insisted on Dr Anita from then onwards. The package cost us RO 450 and included all of the appointments, a number of scans and tests and the post-birth follow up appointment.

Dr Anita was very, very good, and we were very happy with her as our Dr, she was very clear and explained everything to us with great patience.  The technology available was better than experienced at a local hospital in Canada. You have access to 4D ultrasound scanning, and when you go for your scan, the woman lays on a bed and has a 32” flat screen mounted on the wall in front which shows everything that’s on the monitor that the doctor uses – a nice touch.

However, the administration staff at Starcare are beyond bad. They are in another world of bad, and the number of problems caused by the administration staff eventually led to us switching to Muscat Private Hospital. 

Let me explain, in the course of the pregnancy, we spent over 12 hours waiting to see the Doctor after our scheduled appointment. It was quite common to have to wait up to 2 hours after our scheduled time to see the Doctor. We started calling the administration staff the day of our appointment to ask when we should come in, only to be told to come at our allotted time because “everything is on time today”. It never was. 

Perhaps the most memorable occasion was, after waiting for 2 and a half hours and seeing people go ahead of us time and time again, we discovered that the administration staff thought we had not turned up for our appointment –and that our registration card that was sitting on their desk was just there for fun. Or perhaps the best moment was being repeatedly charged for services we had already paid for in our package. Nevertheless we persevered with Starcare because we really did like and appreciate Dr Anita.

The day of the birth was also fairly stressful, as you might imagine. We have spent a great deal of time making our minds up to tell our birth story but we figured that knowledge is power, especially for people expecting a baby, or even their first like it was for us, and that we should share our experience for the benefit of others.

Mrs Sythe’s waters broke early in the morning but she never went into labour – we finally went to the hospital (even though labour had not started) in the late afternoon to get checked up – when your water breaks you are on the clock for risk of infection, you can’t just leave it forever.

We were admitted to a standard birthing suite, which has ensuite shower and toilet, a bed with a fold out grey torture device that’s apparently a bed, and there is a TV showing illegal Dish TV Indian satellite tv channels on it. As far as rooms go at a hospital it’s actually quite nice – A word to the men though – bring a pillow or two for that horrible grey bed thing.

After some time the duty midwife, a South African lady called Denise, came in to see us. She had just come right from the delivery room and had blood all over her which was a bit grizzly, but she knew we’d been waiting for quite a while and wanted to check on us before fully cleaning herself up. She was very knowledgeable and helped put us at ease and said she would call the doctor to come and check Mrs Sythe to see whats up (we still didn’t know if Mrs Sythe’s water had actually broken or not at this point).

And then it happened. Dr Bindu walked in – our Dr was away on vacation – she had told us about her vacation weeks before! Dr Bindu conducted a simple test and confirmed that the waters had indeed broken and then said she needed to carry out another test. Now, I am not a healthcare professional, and perhaps I am wrong in my thoughts here, but I think my wife was assaulted by the Dr. We never made a formal complaint because, well, we had our hands full the next day with a brand new baby and simply didn’t have the time. I’m not saying that this was an actual assault, but that’s what it felt like to Mrs Sythe.

Here’s what happened: The Dr needed to check Mrs Sythe’s cervix, and without dressing it up too much, basically fisted her. Her nails cut her down there, and when she started crying, incredulously, Dr Bindu laughed and said to her, “well how do you expect to have a baby”? And then said to the midwife that the cervix was unfavorable (I later found out that meant unfavorable for inducing). 

That’s right. A Dr did that to my wife, and then laughed at her. We’re not really sure what to think because we’ve asked other medical professionals and some people say that this test the Dr did should have been done using a tool (speculum), and others say that it’s normal just to put their hand in. The real insult for us is the fact that this Dr laughed at us, at one of the most terrifying times of our lives together – we were not expecting to give birth for another 3 weeks and things were not exactly going normally. 

And so we had an emergency C-Section (which cost RO 1350) which was scheduled a few hours later. We met with the anesthesiologist, who explained that he was going to administer an epidural in the procedure. Other than that we just waited in our suite until it was time.

Soon it was time for the main event, I was shown some scrubs and some sterilized shoes to wear and was led to a waiting room while Mrs Sythe was wheeled into the operating theatre. I was told someone would be out to get me in 5 minutes so I could join them all in the operating theatre.
5 minutes passed, and then 10 minutes. Finally after about 15 minutes I went investigating and found someone who I got to tell me what was going on. The anaesthesiologist had tried – and failed – 4 times (!) to successfully give the epidural and so they were going to use a general anesthetic and put Mrs Sythe out completely. I was allowed in to reassure her, and then had to go back to the waiting room.

A short while later, the new duty midwife, Binta, appeared holding the worlds cutest baby (I’m biased) and allowed me a few minutes of skin to skin contact with mini Sythe (Mrs Sythe was unconscious still) before taking her for measurements and checks. It has to be said that Binta and Denise were, and are, amazing people and were very helpful both during and after the birth, as were all the nurses on the maternity ward.

We stayed at the hospital for 3 days, and went home with our brand new baby. Only to have to come back later that night because the baby was distressed and had been crying non-stop. When you leave the hospital they give you some information, along with 2 phone numbers to call in the event of something happening. On a Sunday at 6pm, we rang both numbers and both rang and rang until they cut off. That’s right, the emergency numbers we were given were not even answered. 

Not knowing what to do, we rang the duty midwife, who suggested we went to emergency with the baby, which we did. We turned up in emergency and the nurse asks: How old is the baby? We said… 3 days… and amazingly the nurse then said: so how many months is that? Uh…. 3 DAYS? So 3 months then? No, 3 DAYS.

We got in to see the duty Dr, who was clearly out of his depth. He asked what the problem was, we said… the baby won’t eat. He didn’t understand. Eventually I just grabbed mini Sythe and went upstairs to the maternity ward and found a nurse and got some help. The reason for sharing this particular part is to warn you, as can probably be expected: emergency room staff are clueless (and fair enough too) when it comes to newborn babies.

The tale continues; over the next week or so, we had to return to the hospital a further 2 times because we noticed mini Sythe was getting jaundiced, only to be told “shes quite yellow, see you later” each time. At our 2 week follow up appointment with the Paediatrician, Dr Askar, he ordered a blood test to check the level of jaundice, which was very high and subsequently we had to spend 24 hours under UV lamps back at the hospital  - which did the trick and cleared up the jaundice.

And here’s the final straw: when leaving the hospital the next day, after the UV treatment had been completed, the Dr told us he wanted to have a follow up with us a few days later, and was sitting at the nurse station with me when I was making the appointment with a duty nurse, it was at 8pm on a work night a few days later. A few days later, we drove to the hospital for our follow up appointment and went to the main registration desk to report in. This is where we swore never to use Starcare ever again.

It transpired that Dr Askar was “not coming to the hospital for 2 weeks”. No one had called us, no one had informed us, and thus we had a sick baby and had arrived for our follow up appointment and no one at the hospital could help. That was it. The hours and hours and hours of waiting for Dr appointments, the Dr laughing at us, the 4 failed attempts to give an epidural and now this total failure to inform us that our Dr was “not coming” for 2 weeks. That was it, I got a full medical note history for mini Sythe printed up and left Starcare, hopefully never to return.

All I can do is share our experience here so that anyone who reads this who is expecting a baby can know. Forewarned is forearmed after all. Many people have had great experiences at Starcare – and yes their regular Dr’s and emergency treatment is actually pretty good, but for us, we wish we had never bothered and had just gone to Muscat Private Hospital to have our baby here. One final note on Starcare is this: Mothers who have their babies via C-Section there - be careful when you leave, because the parking lot is uneven and it's a pretty painful ordeal just to drive out of the parking lot and onto a level road!

Hopefully this information is of use to someone, and if you've had a good or bad experience with Starcare then please share it here too so others can benefit from it.

le fin.

54 comments:

Anonymous said...

It is very common in some clinics here to do a C section even if it is not required to bring in more revenue for the Hospital. Also the doctors get paid extra for every c section performed. So this practice is rampant. Sad but true. Hope you didnt get scammed.

Omanly said...

Does not sound like a lot of the joy of having a newborn was left for you to savor on those days.
A comment on Muscat Private, they might be better in delivery and newborn care, don't know, but certainly the waiting bit that you mentioned is the very same story over there as well. If you call them up for an appointment, for your sick child, 10 times our of 10 they'd tell you "fully booked sorry, maybe next week"? Well if your child is ill you wouldn't want to wait for a week to get an appointment, would you. So what you end up with is go there and wait until smbdy with an appointment does not show up. Nice gamble with a sick child on your lap. Long long way to go on the soft side of medical care there as well.

Anonymous said...

Sorry to hear that your experience wasn't pleasant - BUT - congratulations on miniSythe!!!

Eliza said...

Wow, thank you so much for sharing this! I'll probably end up having a baby at some point while living here in Muscat and I've already started a little research to figure out which hospital I would use. After reading this, I'm really curious to know what people think of Muscat Private Hospital ... how does it compare?

I've never used starcare for maternity purposes but this whole story is completely believable. I go to starcare for all of my physicals and never once have I been seen on time. There's not even a point of scheduling an appointment, might as well show up as a walk in lol. The last time I dealt with them I made an appointment for 9am. Later on that day they called to confirm for 8am. I of course told them that the scheduled time was for 9 but they didn't understand so I saved my breath and just agreed to the 9am . That same day they called me again to confirm the appointment but this time for 8am. I was frustrated at this point and asked them to give me a definite time, which they said was 8am. Fine. The next morning I went in for 8am just to find out the doctor didn't even arrive in until 9am. So comical.

Please, someone share a maternity story of Muscat Private .. I would love to know!!

Anonymous said...

I had my second baby at Al Raffah Aster Hospital under Dr. Sapna's care. It was a normal delivery. Was worried intially of all the rumours about doctors opting for C-section for more payment. The care and staff at Asters is very good and the package cost is not high too.

Anonymous said...

wow.. I am so sorry you went through this! I will be having my baby at MCT hospital.

YOu should sue the dr..WTH????

I hope all is good with the baby.

Take care

The Duncan Adventures said...

Oh wow, that sounds pretty bloody horrendous, so sorry to hear that you and Mrs Sythe had to go through that!! But big congrats on Baby Sythe being healthy and happy :-D

It's really interesting to hear of your experiences as hopefully some day soon I will be lucky enough to have my own baby here. But I'm pretty sure I don't want fisted either!!! As Eliza said, I would love to hear any other people's experiences? Due to hubby's work there isn't much chance of me flying home to the UK for medical care.

Wish you and your girls all the best though...maybe you could have a second bambino and try out a different hospital for us and review it? Haha x

Anonymous said...

Even I had almost same experience with the star care. Bad administration staff and doc mocks at you when you complain about the administration team. Doc says us we are too much anxious n worrysome . Since then we never went bac to starcare. What's the point in having all latest up to date facilities when the basic care is not shown to the patients.

Anonymous said...

Staffs and nurses n doctors at al raffah are much better than star care. Don't know about other hospitals ..

AM Oman said...

Hmmmnnn.
Well now you've got me worried....
I am just coming up to four months, and under the care currently of Dr Shahnaz at Starcare. She is excellent so far. I did want Dr Anita, but she is so unavailable that we decided against it.
And yes, I have had to wait for up to an hour for some of my appointments, but I do kind of accept this as lets face it, we live in a land where timekeeping is more a general guideline than something actually followed, and waiting is the norm. (My Kindle is my most prized possesion, and I don't leave home without it.)Ask for an appointment, confirm your appointment even, and always be met with Inshallah.....

However, I have chosen Starcare for two reasons - firstly, it is closest to where I live, so much more convenient. But secondly, last year I was admitted to Starcare for four days with acute something or other (gallstones). I had been in absolute agony, and they were fabulous. The place was lovely and clean, the nurses and doctors very attentive, it was like being in a hotel.
I couldn't have my gall bladder removed at the time, as it was too inflamed, and therefore too dangerous. They had given me the option of general surgery, but I wanted to have a laparoscopy - much less invasive, quicker recovery time. And they told me at Starcare that they did not yet have the surgeon or the equipment, and referred me to Muscat Private to have the op some weeks later (I think you can have it done there now, but at the time it was MPH or The Royal, which I was not eligible for).

So having had a lovely stay (given the circumstances of course) in a pleasant, restful, very clean, attentive environment at Starcare, I was then faced with having the op at MPH - a totally different ballgame all together. The staff (apart from the surgeon) were rude, and rough. When insterting the needle for the drip the nurse had several attempts, failed miserably, and in the end blew my vain. She continued to try, even though she could see it was not going to happen, and I was repeatedly asking her to stop. In the end I had to snatch my hand away, screaming. She was lucky I didn't hit her to be honest. In the end the surgeon had to insert it himself, in the other hand.
Much to my disgust, after the op I had to stay in overnight. The room was dirty and dingy, the bathroom dirty and unpleasant. And during my time in Starcare, I always knew what was going on with my treatment, whereas at MPH it was anyone's guess as to when I would see a nurse again, the doctor, be released, etc etc. To top it all off, wadi dogs barked outside ALL NIGHT keeping me awake.

So as you can see, although not maternity experiences, having experienced both hospitals, my choice was easy. But now you have given me something to think about!

As for the C-Section, well I am still trying to decide if I am too posh to push anyway.... :-))

Kawthar Balushi said...

I too have had bad experiences with starcare. The admin is crap. Muscat private however is fab, especially in the A & E. I have had to take my kids numerous times to A & E, and have always found good doctors there. My daughter has been admitted twice and the staff has always been great and the rooms clean. And great TV channels too.

Unknown said...

I left Starcare at 37 weeks and had an amazing experience at Muscat Private. I was very happy with my prenatal care provided by Dr. Aseel at Starcare, although the waiting well beyond the appointment time was tedious. It is modern, clean and the scans were top notch. I had no complaints and was prepared to deliver there. Then at the end of my pregnancy I found out my Dr. would be out of town around my due date. At first I thought no big deal due dates are not set in stone and I might still get my Dr., but more impotently the midwife I had met and liked was also going to be out of town. So I tried to create a plan B but found out the chances of getting a very busy Dr. Anita was slim to none, rumors had steered me away from Dr. Bindu and the one time I met the midwife Denise, it did not go well. My situation is also a bit unique in that I wanted a water birth. I was told throughout my pregnancy that it wouldn't be a problem until it came time to work out the details, do a test run, etc. suddenly I found the staff to be very unsupportive and uncooperative. So between that and not knowing who would be my doctor/midwife, I left.
I am so happy I made the switch. The midwives at Muscat Private were not only supportive but experienced, gentle, patient...wonderful. Dr. Kanchana was also willing to work with my all natural birth plan and even the manager of the women's health department (Shona Coleman) checked in to make sure everything was organized and going well. They had another water birth the week before mine and really went out of their way to make sure I had all the necessary supplies and that everything would go according to plan on the big day and it did.
I highly recommend bringing your own birth support person (doula) with you no matter what hospital you choose. Karen Wilmot (www.pregnantinoman.com) was my doula and she was fantastic!

Jdw said...

Congrats on the little baby :)

If I were you I would find a way to either report these people or sue them for malpractice or something like that. Totally unacceptable :|

Anonymous said...

I had a c section there 2 weeks ago and I have been extremely happy with the level of care. I had a very similar experience with muscat private, in terms of waiting, insurance preapproval, no one answering phones so I changed to starcare at 20 weeks.
I had dr Anita who is wonderful and I would highly recommend her. I have delivered two children in muscat one at mph and one at starcare and in my opinion starcare was better

ynotoman said...

hope the baby and mother and father are ok
what a shocking experience and a good idea to have blogged / facebooked it

Omani Princess (not Omani...yet) said...

Mabruk, congratulations! I never even knew! How awesome for you both, and so sorry about your awful experiences.

This is my recomendation having been a health researcher on Oman professionally, and a mother who delivered here. Royal and Sultan Qaboos University are the only two hospitals I would evrr ever have a baby from in Oman, though for clincic visits I do like the gynecologist and scanner Doc. in Barka Badr Al Sama. their nurses and undertrained and udnereducated so never let them give any meds without a Dr. present but other than that, I had no troubles. I wans't on my Omani husband's card yet for delivering but since I had my test results I just showed up at the SQU hospital ER in labour and they couldn't turn me away then. Awesome experiences. I was the most horrible patient but no one laughed at me, even when I attempted to rip out my IV,crawl into the hallway and get a knife to cut my own baby out lol. Really professional calm and respectful nurses, no one wanting to do an unecessary c-section. Dr.s all knew what they were doing and alway put the baby and mother first. Very good in after birht care as well, helping with feedings and explaining what to do and not to do. At Royal, Omani friends have the same experiences, the usually Royal doesn't let men stay inside the delivery room, while SQU does.

Muscat Private Hospital caused the death of my father through negligence, and a string of very bad delivery experiences for friends. I just don't recommend any of the private hospitals in Oman. I know non-Omanis can't plan to go to the government facilities, but in an emergancy, just a tip, they will never turn you away. We planned for just such an emergancy, because after esearching delivery room mishaps in private care in Oman, I wouldn't have had my first child anywhere else.

Omani Princess (not Omani...yet) said...

And anon is right, government research findings find Al Raffah is the best rpivate for having babies. Least incidence reports to insurers.

Anonymous said...

After reading comment and your experience i must say that this is certainly not a one off incident, and is considered very common is most hospitals and health clinics.

Its more like pot luck as to how your experience would go at ANY hospital here. Doctors vary in experience and attitude and whatever you experience in one hospital can be someone elses experience in another.

I for one have be "fisted" and clenched when i read that one your wifes blog since its something painful to endure as your cervix is being measured. If it were not for your wifes water breaking i would think that it would have been done once she was further dilated. As mentioned it is a common precedure, which in my opinion used to often when not required. Check Check and check again. I remember telling my doc that i refused to be checked as often, and not to dare do anything further with my 2nd delievery. I dont know if it was my tone or the look on my face but she backed off and let me be till it was time to push.

Congrats on the new born :) Just to note that jaundice doesnt appear on a baby till 2-3days after deleievery, and once the blood test is done then treatment is administered. After being under UV it is common to expose the baby to early morning sun rays for a further few days, there is no need to run to the hospital for follow-up since with exposure to vit D is all that is required.

Excuse the long reponse.

Divia said...

I had unpleasant experience of D&C at both hospitals Raffah and Starcare. The first two procedures I had in Raffah hospital with Dr Gita (she's no longer there), the second D&C I had was most horrible of all, I was overdosed by the anesthesia (we think), as I couldnt sleep, up-normal fast heartbeat, skin rash and dizzy the whole day after the procedure. I called Dr Gita and she said its normal (we didnt think so as this was my second time, and I had no problem the first time) After consulting with my friend who's an anesthetic Dr he suggested a medicine (to neutralized) for me to take and was fine after that. In Starcare, I had Dr Bindu as my Dr at that time and I agree with Sythe, I really hate how she communicate as if I was just a meat to her. Having done a D&C for the third time was very very hurtful yet she didn't give any comfort or whatsoever. I too had to wait for 2 hours after a confirmed appointment. It was a very tiring process. Long story short, I would not return to her or Starcare (terrible admin staff). Starcare considering their expensive charges should really improve their level of services! in both doctors and staff.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing this. I live near StarCare and it's virtually the place to go whenever I or my wife needs to see a doctor.

The most annoying thing is waiting for hours. Sometimes we need to wait for Dr. Aseel the gyna/obs for more than an hour. One time she had arranged a follow up for my wife, we had to pay 20 RO for just being given the result of a previous test and a medicine prescription!

The clueless reception staff is another story; first they had registered the wrong phone number which we asked to be fixed more than once. Second, they had the wrong nationality, so instead of Libya they had Lebanon, I asked them to fix it twice as I got Lebanon and Liberia! Muscat Private Hospital keep you waiting too but not for as long, and the staff/facilities over there seem to be better. Their prices remain ridiculous to me.
My wife will hopefully give birth in Europe, but if we have to do it in Muscat; I don't think she will be going anywhere but MPH.

Anonymous said...

We live in AlKhuwair and over the last one year we have been using Starcare several times even though we have gone well past the pregnancy years!. Several people I know have had babies over there and two of my relys had major operations at Starcare. All of them have been using MPH and AlRaffa before and now switched to Starcare. So those guys must be doing something right! I agree with fellow bloggers that they need to fire a lot of their receptionists and billing people and get some good ones, pretty soon. I suppose that is what Sythe is also complaining about. I dont think there is much point in complaining about not having your personal doctor available when you go in ahead of time. Dr Bindu has been good to my family and we find her very pleasant. But then, I suppose there is always going to be likings and dislikings. Inspite of the delays in seeing the doctor on scheduled appointments, i would still recommend Starcare, mainly because, my friends in MOH private hospital division tells me that their clinical standards are high and this is the only hospital so far in Oman with serious concerns raised against them! At least we have some choice now. Being an Omani, I can go to Govt hospitals, my experience there has never been pleasant. Anyway, good to know that Mother Sythe and Baby Sythe are healthy and doing well. This is the most important thing after all.

Clodagh a.k.a. Isra said...

Ahhhh I just wanted to say a huge congratulations to you both. Enjoy your "baby moon" and I'm sorry for your wife's suffering but so glad to hear you have your bubba home with you. I guess you will blog at all hours now with a newborn who will have you up at all crazy hours ;-)

Anonymous said...

Have used StarCare in the past for a non-pregnancy related issue and they were an absolute disgrace.
A consultant who felt he was too important to even introduce himself, suggested that I needed an emergency procedure done on my knee which would require a replacement kneecap. "I vill buk you in mediately."

Drove to Dubai for second opinion. Physio and tablets for a week. Job done.

C-sections appear to be the biggest scam among the doctors in most of the private clinics over here.

I would be very interested in seeing the figures on the amounts of C-sections performed over every 1,000 births in Oman compared to say Europe or the USA.

The fact that a doctor can shove a fist or any other object into your missus and pronounce her cervix as unsuitable simply beggar's belief. Marketplace medicine at best, putting your loved ones under unnecessary risk at worst.

You should get this story out to as many blogs as you can, and send an official complaint via a lawyer to StarCare and the Ministry of Health - believe me, they are actually very much on the ball when dealing with reports like this.

Half of these "consultants" have fake degrees.

Congratulations on your new baby. They are terrifying when they first get here, but you'll never doubt the decision to have them!

Best regards

MJD

Anonymous said...

Sythe- both my kids were born in the 'developed world' and waiting times for the ob-gyn were exactly the same. The other side of the argument is that should you have had an emergency you would have been seen immediately- those with appointments de damned!
C-sections are the chosen method around the world because they enable staff to book time and be prepared whilst maximising income. It is a win-win for them but often leaves the mother feeling somewhat used. It takes a strong person to demand a natural birth and have the staff listen to them.
I do, however, take slight umbrage to the tone of your message as I don't feel that your experience has been too different to anyone else around the world- with the exception of the Starcare staff. And I stress that bit.
Giving birth, especially for the first time, is an incredibly difficult time. You have everyone around you telling you different things, the internet another set of things, and a mother-to-be who is in increasing discomfort. All this makes coming to a decision and being rational when things go awry even more difficult. But that is one of the things that most parents can agree on, if nothing else.
Health care in Oman is improving by leaps and bounds and, as one of the posters above stated, the Ministry is taking a much stronger approach to any shortfalls by the hospitals and clinics.
The important thing is that you have a healthy baby and a happy wife/mother and I do hope that baby Sythe's brother or sister will be born in Oman too!

Anonymous said...

Very interesting to read about all this accidentally while on holiday. Am a retired NHS gynaecologist. Never blogged in my life, but let me try. It is good to have forums to share information like this. But it is sad to see that people with no medical knowledge is jumping to conclusion before learning more about it. A vaginal examination is an absolute must before a obstetrician can decide whether the cervix is favourable and is it wiser to induce labour using a pessary or to go for a caesarean when presented with a case of water broken 3 weeks earlier than expected with no other obvious sign of labour process. Funny to see that people back home are all up in arms about infection rates, superbugs, waiting time and not being able to see a gynecologist while problems here seems to e different. Interestingly my friends working in Dubai says that the caesarean rate in many hospitals overe there is more than 50%. Anyway, Best wishes to everybody in Oman. Life is no greener elsewhere!

BigManInOman said...

To the above- welcome to the world of blogging!

You mention the rate of 50%- is that high or low compared to the NHS? Do you think that private hospitals have a different modus operandi than government ones?
I agree that armchair doctors are the worst but you must also agree that actually cutting someone whilst doing a vaginal examination is a bit harsh.

Terry said...

Sounds like a horrible experience, but it's no better anywhere else really. My sister in-law had her baby at Muscat Private and they liked it for the most part.

Seems all midwives are South African? One of them was nice, but the night duty midwife was quite arrogant and kept refusing to check because the mother was in pain for a few hours already. The baby had already crowned and had to force her to have a look to which she said, "oh, she's ready".

So yeah, no great joy having a baby in reality, but at least it's something to forget and focus on the new bundle of joy.


CONGRATULATIONS!!!

Anonymous said...

that is very scary. why was the doctor even checking for induction at such an early time?? and why did they decide to have the c-section??

Anonymous said...

Congrats on your new arrival ! When starcare first opened they were really good - then it seems once they passed their initial inspection (or whatever) all the competent staff vanished to be replaced by cheaper, less qualified alternatives. One time,as someone else experienced, I was told I would need a full knee replacement asap but luckily was heading overseas so saw a consultant there who even with seeing the MRI etc successfully arranged physio and painkillers instead. It is really worrying to see the decline of what had been a showcase hospital into something so dangerous.
I had a bad experience in Al Raffah - having arranged to have an epidural for a small procedure was then told as I entered to theatre that they changed their minds and gave me a general (without my consent)which I reacted to badly - hence the reason for epidural selection beforehand. Prior to that the nurse had been unable to put the needle into my arm properly so they ended up holding me down and forcing the gas mask onto my face to make me unconscious (as I was protesting) so they could then administer the GA through a new needle. In recovery the alarm kept going off as I wasn't breathing well/was struggling to breathe. I called the nurse about this, explained how I was struggling and... she disconnected the alarm. Couldn't wait to get out - only to find the I had been prescribed pain killers I was known to be highly allergic to. Running out of options so hope to remain healthy while here now ! All the best to you.

Anonymous said...

I had a similar experience right before my marriage. Someone had recommended Anita, but she was not available so I booked an appointment with Dr. Bindu. From the moment I stepped into her office, I did not feel welcomed. At times I felt she looked at me with disgust, but maybe that's just her face. Then, she proceeded to do the exam in a rather cold fashion by forcing her hand inside. Needless to say,I screamed very loud several times, turned and tossed and tried to pull my legs together, feeling kind of ashamed and confused by the whole thing. Was that normal? was she looking out for my best interest? I knew something was wrong so I kept my legs closed. Although she was able to swab, she could not finish the exam she was doing with her hands. She defended herself by saying that I must have a severe yeast infection and that is why I was feeling pain and went on to prescribe four medicine including antibiotics which made me very sick. Imagine my feeling of shock when I left the hospital! I thanked God for the mysterious yeast infection the doctor had discovered as a result of trying to fist me raw! I started taking my medicine, which by the way were making me sick. Only to find out a few days later that I DID NOT have any yeast infection or anything abnormal in my tests. NOTHING! My pain and discomfort were simply a natural reaction to someone trying to put their fist up my vagina for the first time. So, ladies, if you are into that kind of thing..be my guest, but I would say Dr. Bindu needs a refreshment on her customer service skills and perhaps a friendlier brand of lub.

Anonymous said...

my wife had our two kids in the Royal hospital.Very good no complaints.Like the car industry here go private and end up with bad unquallified people from you know where????

Anonymous said...

The Royal Hospital was great. A special thank you to Dr Sadia Alriami and all the staff for the execellent care to mums and baby's alike.

Sadik Kodakat said...

Dear Wellwishers,
I am Dr Sadik Kodakat, Chairman of Starcare Hospital. We have reviewed the negative and positive comments about Starcare and other hospitals on this blog. This is to reassure all readers that we take all feedbacks very seriously and do everything possible to rectify our lapses and improve the quality of our services where needed. My sincere apologies to anyone who have found our services falling short of their expectations. Starcare now treat more than 11,000 patients a month and we attend to another estimated 30,000 visitors in the premises. We receive positive comments from majority of our patients and this has kept us motivated all along. While we aim to serve and keep everyone happy at all times, this can be a difficult goal to achieve in a dynamic hospital setting.

Let me address some specific matters that have been raised in this discussion.
1. Overall Customer care: Telephone answering service, waiting time in OPD and overall communication with patients – We have noticed that we have not kept up with the recent high growth in the patient numbers and this has led to our service standard falling below expectations. We are working on this and we have already started seeing good improvement. We will continue to work on this and monitor this aspect of our care.
2. Clinical standards: As a message from this discussion, we have alerted all our doctors to be extra vigilant on the quality of communications with patients, especially pre-procedures. Happy to note that clinical decisions discussed here were appropriate, timely and helped the mother and the baby. I am reassured that Starcare receive far less complaints about its clinical care compared to international standards. We do constantly monitor this. Thank you for the positive comments about our midwives.
3. The facility: We thank you for the positive comments about the cleanliness and the technology at Starcare. We will work on improving quality of bystander beds and the surface leveling of the car parking.

I refute allegations from an Anonymous commenter that we have reduced that quality of our staff after initial inspection. Apart from complying with initial and continued supervision of MOH, Starcare has undertaken a voluntary international accreditation programme successfully where independent inspectors from Chicago, USA verified our facility, quality of staff and our processes. This is an ongoing programme to ensure the quality standards throughout the life of the organisation.

Starcare caters to a diverse community of Omanis, other Arabs, Westerners, Asians and others. Both staff and the patients need to be sensitive to the local factors, trans-cultural differences and expectations. This may manifest in the way some patients turn up late for appointments leading to a knock on effect on some one else, perceived quality of doctor – patient communications or local employment laws.

In any case, we are committed to continue improving and all constructive comments are welcome. For those who care about improving the standards of health care in the community where we live, I suggest that we form a face to face discussion forum and influence the process. Community engagement is always a good way to shape up the quality of the services around us and we are happy to initiate and co-ordinate. Please email me on chairman@starcarehospital.com or our Quality Department on quality@starcarehospital.com if you are interested.

Unfortunately, we will not be able to enter into discussions on a forum such as this where authenticity and intentions of the authors cannot be verified, commercial influences can creep in, personal likes and dislikes can lead to confusions and counter productive discussions with possible legal implications.

Thank you all for your interest and hope we can make a positive difference, together.

Dr Sadik Kodakat

Nusy said...

congrats on the baby!

i was with starcare for my prenatal appointments and was with Dr. Aseel. i love her. but i must say i agree with the admin staff and the long waiting que. i once had an appointment at 5 and ended up seeing the dr at 7:30. i hated that..

but in the end i delivered at Khola Hospital and i loved my experience there with both my kids

Anonymous said...

Hi there,
Congratulationsnon your new addition, it's a very special time. I too had a baby at StarCare hospital In April of last year. For the first 6 months of my pregnancy everything was fabulous regarding appointments and checks, having had a baby in my home country prior to this I was very pleasantly surprised by the lack of waiting times, pleasantness of the environment etc. However from January 2012 I definitely noticed standards slipping, wait times got longer, admin staff more hassled and medical staff though still very kind seemed more stressed. My baby came five weeks early,I am not happy with the way I was treated on the day labour began or the aftercare my baby received. There were a number of issues and I highlighted these to both the members of the medical team and through the comment card system they have in place there. The comment card system states that you will receive a response in 10 days, despite having commented three times I am disappointed to say I never had a call back. That being said, I still attend Starcare with my two children only due to the fabulous GP care I receive from the doctor there, also the pediatricians have always been very responsive to our needs. I have also used the emergency room a number of times, again I have noticed a deterioration in the services in the last few months but prior to that it was very good.
My tuppence worth on this debate is simple, midwives and scathing obstetricians need to step up and realize that although they see hundreds of babies being born , that for the new parents to be it is a monumental event and every soon to be mother and father deserves the right to be scared, deserves the right to be informed and most especially deserves the right to made feel special.

Anonymous said...

Sadly this seems to be the case right across all the private hospitals - they are all truly awful and some of them are downright dangerous. Some of the doctors are good but a lot are underqualified - one in Al Raffah spent 15 minutes trying to enter my details in his computer. The state hospitals seem to be rather better but not as glossy - smart move is if you feel dodgy jump on a plane!

Anonymous said...

Very sorry to hear abt ur experience in Star Care. I know for a fact that Dr Bindu is always very rude from her ATLAS days....... most of my known people also do feel the same. I hope atleast now after this incident Dr Bindu will change, since this has leaked out in public and not many know about her attitude

kavita said...

Congratulations on the new arrival Mr.Sythe.I had a baby in november and I'm glad I have a baby no thanks to starcare.Let me tell you what happened with me.I was told Dr.Bindu was the best and went to her.Intially she was great.Then I noticed she never remembered what she had to prescribe.In my 38th week she asked for a scan which was supposed to be done in the 20th or so week.So the radiologist kept asking me why I was in for a scan so late and plus they detected an IUGR in the baby!That is not something you want to hear when you are going to go into labour in a couple of days.When I asked Dr.Bindu about it,she was pretty nonchalant and said something like try not to go into labour early!!Yeah,like I get control of that!!Anyways,I did go into labour 4 days earlier than my due date and the midwife on duty had no clue what to do!She came in,gave me an enema and said the doctor would be there in an hour.She didnt turn up!The next day,being a friday there were no midwives on duty!there was an old keralite nurse who didnt know how to check for dilation!She probed and probed and probed and finally decided I wasnt in labour,even though I was writhing in pain!Denise came as a god send to us.She happened to come to check on a patient(on request) and happened to see me crying in pain.I was in the hospital for over 2 days by then mind u!She came in,took charge and the baby was out in an hour!Later we got to know that Dr.Bindu was attending a party and didnt want to be 'disturbed' so the nurses didnt call her!We also got to know that my baby was in distress during the labour because she had the umbilical cord around her neck and it's a miracle she's with us today.I hate starcare.

Anonymous said...

I am quite shocked to see comments being blogged on this site about Star Care Hospital and Dr.Bindu. My wife had her delivery at Star Care and Dr.Bindu had attended on her. She was quite professional on her approach and we had a nice baby boy born. Dr.Bindu had been quite nice and she had provided great comfort to my wife during the time of delivery. Thanks to her for being a great support to us. Thanks to Starcare also for their good service during our stay there.

Anonymous said...

Dr. Bindu and other Demons!

The link of this blog was mailed to me by a friend of mine whose wife had been a patient of Dr. Bindu. I was also under the care of Dr. Bindu for the delivery of my first baby in Muscat. My friend and I share the concern that your blog is now been used to demonise a competent and affable gynecologist; may be due to professional jealousy or because of cultural intolerance. My first-hand experience with Dr. Bindu was extremely cordial and I have very fond memories about my relationship as a patient with Dr. Bindu. And please don't raise casual comments against a successful and efficient doctor of more than 2 decades of professional standing. It is sad that a malicious campaign is being carried out here to defame a good human being and to demonise a thorough professional. However I am sure that such motivated campaign wont take away the love and affection of hundreds of patients like me have towards Dr. Bindu. May God bless her.

Sythe said...

To those still reading this I want to make something very clear:

Our experience with Dr Bindu at Starcare is exactly as described above. She is a practising Doctor here in Oman and has been for many years - something you don't get to do unless you are competent.

The root of our issue with her was due to her nonchalance and our perceived rough treatment of my wife. I'm sure she's a very competent Doctor, and indeed her surgery was successful and the scar is healing very well.

Our complaint lies with her Customer Service, not her skills. I personally think it's wrong to slander her for being a bad Doctor - she's very capable, she's still a licensed and practising Doctor here in the Sultanate. She just - In our opinion - needs to be more mindful of the people she is treating, her attitude left a hugely negative experience on our memories of the birth of our daughter, and I felt it was worthy of inclusion in our review of what is the biggest event in our lives to date.

Florence Johnson said...

It's hard enough for a mother to bear a child for nine months and it is harder to make them grow responsible and disciplined. Being said that, it's always better to keep a mother's overall health and not let other people antagonize the doctors they've been trusting for years now.

arun kumar said...

Female's healthcare experts must want to learn about the latest practices and technologies.it will really make them to complete care about the patient.

Obgyn Doctor In Dubai

Anonymous said...

First of All Congratulations to Mini Sythe.
I have happened to use the services of Starcare once. And I should say I was totally disappointed. I visited the Internal Medicine Physician. God he was such a Perv. Be aware of this Pervert Dr. Gowri Sankar.I had a terrible experience with him and shared my experiences with my friends and colleagues. But inspite of my advice, one of my male colleagues went there to see the General Surgeon. My Colleague was advised for an operation which he did. But the second day, my colleague started to have problems with the wound, kind of infection. When I visited him, the third day, it was a full blown infection. I even happened to get some kind of foul odor when I visited the hospital. I just told my colleague "I told you so and left" Still the foul odor was persistent.
Finally when My when my colleague came back to work after a 3 weeks hiatus, he said that there was a dead rat in the Air Conditioning Ducts which had caused the foul smell. Not only that the same ducts were doing the services in the OT as well. He said that The infection was caused by the germs from the dead rat. I couldn't hear the rest of the story since I had to run for an urgent meeting.
But the story left me a bit horrified.Dead Rat GOD HELP US!
Dr Sadik Kodakat what is the point of having an international certification when you cant keep out the pests!! your hospital might be clean outside but what about inside???International Certifications can be got once you pay in a some money to the persons coming in for examination.

Anonymous said...

Congrats on your little girl, and thanks for sharing your experience. I have to admit that when I first read your post I felt here was a bit of overreaction ref Dr Bindu's examination and attitude. Well, I had to see her and explore the possibility of having her as my Obs, after she was referred to me by another Gyno. Well, let me tell you, from a single first meeting, I could make full sense of every word you've written here about her, and in actual fact I think you could have gone more about her attitude. She is absolutely inconsidrate, patronising, arrogant and way too impersonal. She didnt even look at me when I was speaking to her for a glance, her eyes were fixated on the screen of the computer and she was shaking in a nervous way which was explained by her way to rush me on to leave quickly. And to add insult to injury, she was patronising, I was speaking in a clear accentless English, and she was replying in a loud abrupt pidgin Gulf Arabic to me, as if I was deaf and illiterate or incapable! At one point, without even knowing or asking about my history, she said arrogantly: 'you're coming now from Syria to to Oman to sort your pregnancy blah blah are you going back there'...WTH?! I wasn't even there! And when I was just starting to ask my questions and was still sat on the chair she suddenly and abrubtly said: 'okay now...thanks, goodbye nice meeting you'!! Absolutely disgusting mannerism, I just wonder how she treats other people who have less expectations from an Obst, and I don't know where the hell they get these doctors from and what sort of standards regulate their professional work! It would be a nightmare to have this woman deliver my baby, and honestly my heart goes with you having had to have this woman then. I hope this will be helpful to someone out there who's considering an Obst in Muscat.

Anonymous said...


Dear All,

Dr.Bindu is not working in Star care hospital now.

Anonymous said...


dr bindu is not working there now

Anonymous said...

I just completed my wife'd delivery in star care hospital Oman near city center. Elected C section.
1. I have consulted in badar al sama till sixth month, then shifted to Starcare As wish to reduce money( to be frank.. no maternity cover)
2. Dr Anitha (our doctor) was highly professional and good indeed. nice approach...
3. All good for me except the last part.
4. C section finished. came to room. all good till second day. At second day AC failed!!.. could't able to repair. I asked for early discharge, as she need only obseravation. Also my house is very near to star care hospital.
5. Admin arranged Dr. Aswini (a SreeL-Lankan' pediatrician, came and checked the baby and all clear. Asked to come for the follow up visit. after twoo weeks.
6. In the follow up visit, Dr. ASWINI, said, baby's heart beat is high (it was 160 as per reading) and also "she feels" a murmur sound. So need to check up with Cardiologist and shoud take eco cardio gram.
7. I just asked her, about the normal rage of new born heart rate, i thought it was normal. Dr. Aswini, told me, it is 100-120, which i felt a doughy. I goggled immediately and checked from intenet and saw that the actual range starts from 120-160, and I told her back with a smile, and not hurting her EGO. She accepted it! and said " what about the murmur sound? Which can not hear and google it as you know. :(
8. And she booked for cardiologist from their itself. Also asked me about insurance or cash I said, no insurance and will pay cash.
9. After taking ECO cardio graph, scanning, and ELectro cardio graph, doctor resulted. NO PROBLEM. ALL FINE.
10. payed 60 OMR ( for that tests) I will not judge anyone here for just a small heart rate range (100-12)0 instead of 120-160).. BUT i wish to quote here, I heard from some of the friends got similer experience from other hospitals also "may be for money"... what i wish to say don't be panic in what you here about a "hole in the heart" for new born baby.. first of all it is usual for some babies and closes as baby grows on... secondly no immediate medicine.... and also no need... from my google reserch,( i was stressed a lot till i informed by cardiologist, say is baby is absolutely normal) if baby drink milk, and gains wait, its fine. Also you can check, the colour difference inside the inner lips before and after feeding milk, which will become bluish in colour, with less oxygenation... Then if you feel not ok, go for tests.. :)

Anonymous said...

I can relate to your story.I seek medical help in Al Amal Clinic and Al Raffah Hospital. We started the medication in Al Amal with Dr. Suman to get pregnant and after a month I got pregnant..so we needed to go back and perform a scan only to find out that the Dr.is on leave. Nobody called to inform us, which we were assured that she will guide us throughout the pregnancy. So we went to Al Raffah Hospital and found out that it was ectopic pregnancy. I forgot the name of the dr. but she was the most cold blooded dr.
she told me to go home and come back at night to decide if I will be operated or just take a medicine...another thing I've waited almost 2 hours to get my ultrasound report,,since the pain is persisting I insist to go inside and claim my result,only to find out that the sonographer was busy scolding her indian staffs for not registering the other patient to make it free of charge...I've decided this hospital sucks and I went directly to Muscat Private Hospital.This is the only hospital that you can find a good and reliable doctors and staff.I was well taken care but of course I spent my 2 months salary to pay my bills.

Anonymous said...

Hello Mr Sythe I just got this link forwarded to me to read , the first thing I thought was oh my god who wrote my story for me, I had almost gone through the same story with plus plus negative points I must say that dr Anita is a thumbs up and the midwives you mentioned I also met Dr Aseel she was good I had my C section when Dr Anita was on leave (I'm telling you I had the same story u shared here ). I guess there are probably the only staff who are lighting up that clinic. It's sad that they have passed a certification that doesn't reflect the service at all ( don't remember the name of certificate)
But if there's a vote for a thumbs down for the service post delivery I will giv x1000 for the nurses and admin and some Drs.
Had a very very bad experience in Starcare I'm even scared to deliver again I think I'll just go for muscat private or government hospital. CONGRATS on the little angel and thank u so much for sharing .

Anonymous said...

Hi. does anybody know about Dr shahnaz wasti of Starcare Seeb?

by the way, I can see here in Oman, where many obgyne prefer C sect. hmmmm not good for me as i am really into gentle birth

Anonymous said...

very sorry to hear all this. my two sons are born at Star care in Dec-2011 & Dec-2013.
I experienced a drastic deterioration in the services. We only wanted Dr. Anita, she has been one of the most brilliant doctors we ever met. so with this obvious reasons we opted star care.
I do agree with all experiences shared but also wanted to point out about the "24 hours medical store services" The store actually closes at ~11pm and after that you have to roam to get the medicines? I have pointed out this, in writing, several times but no response.

I feel that the management has been changed from European to some asian fellows, though i am asian too but without any biased statement I admit that they are poor in customer feed backs and only concentrating on business rather than quality.

I stopped using start care for self and family members ever since Dec-2013.


hope SCH will improve with such responses, hope ..hope...

theRock30075 said...

My wife had an appointment today with dr shinaz wasti at star cafe and I can say that this was the worst day and worst dr we have ever met.
My wife is 6 months pregnant and today was our first time with this dr.
She was late to come to our appointment 25 mins and didn't even bother to apologize and the way she talked to my wife was very very rude
Considering it's a private clinic and we pay to get extra care .
My wife asked her if she can have a scan and her reply was NO I DONT DO SCANNING AND IF YOU WANT TO DO A SCAN THEN YOU GO LOOK FOR ANOTHER DOCTOR )
My wife was shocked and she came out of her room with tears .
As a husband I felt like going inside the room and shout at her but I didn't and took my wife out.
To be honest we saw Omani women dr in the same clinic STAR CARE and they all were so so nice .
But this dr shinaz she should be kicked out she doesn't even know how to talk nice or even smile .
She makes you think that you did something wrong going to her.
I'm really considering taking my wife to government hospital royal or squ as I heard they are the best.

Nam said...

I had the first ever water birth in Oman, with Dr Kanchana at Muscat Private Hospital. Everything went well till we were discharged and the baby came home. It was my first birth, my first child and a boy. We were delighted but the joy was short-lived. My son developed seizures soon after we came home and everything went downhill from there. Dr Kanchana was least bothered and wanted me to make an appointment to discuss the smallest of things, she wouldn't entertain me on the phone, despite the fact that I was still healing from the birth. Other doctors who saw our birth video have said that this was negligence during birth, heartbeat monitoring of the baby wasn't done frequently enough. My son is coming close to 4 years in November and he is still unable to sit, walk or talk. Dr. Kanchana I recall, a few months after the birth ran into me and laughed about my son's epilepsy diagnosis saying there was another child born the same night as my son who had the same exact diagnosis as him.

After the birth, while the entire birthing pool and all auxiliary material was provided by us, Muscat Private published an article in the newspaper bragging about how they organized it and basically took credit for the whole process, which was clearly a blatant lie. My Mom and husband had been supporting the birth throughout which took place after 2am.
I will never ever recommend the terrible place that Muscat Private Hospital is, their pediatric neurologist Dr Nabil is the worst doctor I have ever seen; without any idea how to talk to patients. He began telling us from our son's first EEGs at 10 days of life that he will never walk, never do that, travel etc. Imagine our horror, while I was recovering from the birth running around hospitals, MRIs, EEGs and doctors like him. We eventually took our son abroad for treatment, and our second son was born there. My advice to expecting moms, best to leave the country and deliver abroad. Birthing in Oman is equal to a gamble.

Our family continues to suffer on a daily basis by what I am convinced was a medical negligence on behalf of Muscat Private Hospital and Dr Kanchana (who had never before done a water birth).

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