Profit Based Healthcare.

'You're right, we did make a profit.'
‘You’re right, we did make a profit.’

What a topic to write on! One of my pet grouses is the modern medical profession’s obsession with profits rather than patient welfare and very obligingly, Shackman has suggested this week’s Friday LBC topic to enable me to let off some steam! You may find another blogger Pravin also writing on this subject.

To start with, for those who may be interested about the medical profession in India, there is a remarkable book written by a group of doctors exposing some of the malpractices prevalent, reading which is a hair raising experience. I have read this a few times to stress points in discussions with some friends and am quite shocked at this knowledge being quite well prevalent but more astonishingly accepted as a fact of life. This drives me to believe that one has to be very lucky to find ethical medical practitioners.

I will share with my readers two personal stories to give my take on the subject.

A very long time ago, both my replaced hip joints needed to be revised and the surgeon I had been recommended to perform the revisions recommended that I get them done at a famous hospital in our town. The first one went without incident and I was quite happy with the outcome. The second one done after just two months went off well but the recovery process from the surgery took a very peculiar route at the hospital. Doctors who had nothing to do with my case would visit me and make some general enquiries and disappear. It was at the time of settling the bill that I found that those visits were being billed to me and I simply refused to pay. When the administrator came to find out what had happened, I pointed out this to him asked him to check from my surgeon if these were called in for consultation by him. I told the administrator that I will not pay and he could do what he wanted and that I was perfectly willing to stay on in the hospital till the bill was brought for settlement without the additional charges. My surgeon who has since then become a personal friend also supported me and after much toing and froing, the bill was reduced. I paid and got discharged albeit later than I should have been.

Another revision became necessary after ten years and on my refusing to go the same hospital again, the same surgeon suggested that we arrange for it in another newer hospital where too he had accreditation and I readily agreed and it was a delightful experience.

I have written about the other incident with my frozen shoulder when I wrote about My Health.

If I had such unpleasant experiences, I have also had some very good experiences which too are brought out clearly in the two stories that I have shared above. There are many more concerning the experiences that I have had with my GP as well my late wife’s Cardiologist. I also had some very good experiences with specialists and another hospital where I had to take my late father. Moreover, I recently had a serious problem for which I had to consult a specialist who not only made home visits as an exception, but also was very fair in the charging of his fees and most importantly, he gave me a lot of confidence and in a very short time cured me too.

So, we do have the two ends of the spectrum operating here in India as is confirmed by others. While I have had experiences of both things like this report contents also happen here.

I am sure that Shackman has similar tales to tell having undergone some serious issues with medicine in the recent past. I also keep reading about some serious issues with the Pharma industry like this article in The Washington Post. There are a number of other horror stories about which my readers know and I look forward to comments on whether the both good and bad exists in their patches of green too.

I also look forward to seeing some appropriate music links from Shackman for this most unlikely topic for music!