At first glance,it looks like any other multiplex a regular 3,100mm by 1,700mm high-definition,single-screen theatre complete with surround sound system.
But a closer look reveals it isnt. In the audience is a couple from Agartala whose young daughter is recovering from a series of brain-repair surgeries; a family from Afghanistan who have flown in for their childs heart surgery; a family whose loved one is recovering from head injuries suffered in a road accident; children awaiting chemotherapy; and the odd few waiting for their blood culture reports.
Welcome to Fortiplex,a 40-seat theatre located inside the Fortis Memorial Research Institute (FMRI) in Gurgaon. Touted as a first at a hospital in the country,hospital authorities say the aim is to help patients and their kin relax as part of holistic healing.
There are two daily shows; one in the afternoon,the other in the evening. Among the movies shown are Matru Ki Bijlee Ka Mandola,Kung Fu Panda,Sound of Music,Vicky Donor,Men in Black and Dabangg.
We want to bring down the anxiety level or fear factor associated with hospitals. When a patient is in the operation theatre,in a typical Indian family at least four-five members are at the hospital,going through tense moments,battling guilt,cursing their fate,jittery and worried. Similarly for patients who have been admitted,relatives wait round the clock as they feel guilty to leave the hospital,yet have nothing to do most of the time at the hospital. This is our idea of giving them a positive distraction while we look after your patient,here is something that will help you relax, Dr Dilpreet Brar,medical director of FMRI,said.
Children diagnosed with cancer and undergoing long-term treatment at the hospital are treated to special screenings of animated films. We held special screenings of Kung Fu Panda recently and the shows were packed, Dr Brar added.
Patients and their kin get free tickets upon showing their medical papers. For families whose patients stay at the hospital for long durations,the concept,hospital authorities say,is working wonders. There was a patient from Mumbai who had been injured in an accident. He spent over two months here. His family would be here everyday waiting outside the ICU,tense and agitated. Over time,they started enjoying the movies, a hospital official said.
Several patients visiting the out patient department and told to undergo diagnostic tests,which take a few hours,prefer to enjoy a movie and collect their reports the same day than making another trip to the hospital. Some patients like those recovering after surgery too are allowed to watch movies at the theatre,provided the treating doctor authorises it.