Sunday, August 6, 2017

When doctors turn money minded-an example of Dr X

Yesterday, I experienced a 'catch' in my back muscles due to which my body tilted. While analgesics did alleviate the pain, it was not better on Sunday too. After a referral by our family doctor (whom we trust blindly), I visited his clinic on Sunday. This doctor will stay unnamed on public forums, to avoid

This particular doctor has a very high rating on Practo(though I did not use that platform), and has a website/clinic seemingly focused on patient care and welfare. The notice boards emphasizes on the continuing professional education(CPE) and certifications attained by him, as also the 'sacrifices' made by doctors and the need to respect them. So far, good. It is however the aftermath of the visit which left me poorer by ~Rs 4,000 and shocked

  1. A cursory 10min examination asking me to do some exercises in front of a haggled looking doctor, which concluded in his "Diagnosis" that I had come just in time to avoid slip disc. The bedside manner was not seeming ok
  2. The team interested in starting treatment instead of asking how do i feel or validate issues. 
  3. X-Ray not feasible since his entire team busy in operations. However, he felt confident to start lumbar traction(that too instructing the medical support staff without explicitly pointing it out). This procedure btw is not medical current practice, as per 2nd opinion. 
  4. Extreme and undue hurry to admit me into bed rest even before X-Ray/MRI, in a 'premium room' with billing of Rs 6000/day(albeit including price of nursing, doctor) and no medicines
  5. Starting IV drip(for which Rs 950 charged finally)
  6. Drawing blood without prior explicit consent, for a battery of tests with desired billing Rs 6,500
  7. Charging Rs 800 for X-Ray(Whereas the clinic standard pricing Rs 400). 
  8. Finally, consultation in #1 and #6 charged Rs 2000 instead of his standard billing price on Practo of hardly 1/3rd of this. 
This doctor is successful commercially having 3 clinics in/around Mulund(E), and yet I lost all respect today for him. To protect yourself from such doctors, one should ensure that
  1. Discuss the cost of treatment UPFRONT and do not mention your mediclaim coverage(Btw this doctor prominently displays insurance TPA tieups)
  2. Ensure that PROS/CONS of treatment are mentioned by  him
  3. Never get yourself hospitalized BEFORE diagnosis is complete and a written opinion(this can nail him for overmedication)
  4. Refuse procedures like I.V/Bloodtests if not necessary 

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