Wonder how much is widespread …..
HowÂ IndianÂ Doctors Loot Patients.
Prof. B. M. Hegde, MD, FRCP, FRCPE, FRCPG, FRCPI, FACC, FAMS.
Padma Bhushan Awardee 2010.
Editor-in-Chief, The Journal of the Science of Healing Outcomes,
Chairman, State Health Society’s Expert Committee, Govt. of Bihar, Patna.
Former Prof. Cardiology, The Middlesex Hospital Medical School, University of London,
Affiliate Prof. of Human Health, Northern Colorado University,
Retd. Vice Chancellor, Manipal University,
Most of these observations are either completely or partially true. Corruption
has many names, and one of civil society isn’t innocent either. Professionals
and businessmen of various sorts indulge in unscrupulous practices. I
recently had a chat with some doctors, surgeons and owners of nursing
homes about the tricks of their trade. Here is what they said
1) 40-60% kickbacks for lab tests. When a doctor (whether family doctor / general
physician, consultant or surgeon) prescribes tests – pathology, radiology, X-rays, MRIs etc.
– the laboratory conducting those tests gives commissions. In South and Central Mumbai —
40%. In the suburbs north of Bandra — a whopping 60 per cent! He probably earns a lot
more in this way than
the consulting fees that you pay.
I VOUCH FOR THIS…AS A DOCTOR FRIEND ARRANGED FOR AN MRI-SCAN FOR
MY MOTHER, AND ENSURED THAT I GOT THE
MAXIMUM DISCOUNT….40% !!!!!!!..
2) 30-40% for referring to consultants, specialists & surgeons. When your friendly GP
refers you to a specialist or surgeon, he gets 30-40%.
3) 30-40% of total hospital charges. If the GP or consultant recommends
hospitalization, he will receive kickback from the private nursing home as a percentage of
all charges including ICU, bed, nursing care, surgery.
4) Sink tests. Some tests prescribed by doctors are not needed. They are there to
inflate bills and commissions. The pathology lab understands what is unnecessary. These
are called “sink tests”; blood, urine, stool samples collected will be thrown.
AT AN MEMORIAL LECTURE, A VERY PROMINENT GASTROENTEROLOGIST
MENTIONED THAT DOCTORS WHO PRACTICE AT APOLLO HOSPITALS CHENNAI
ARE FORCED TO PRESCRIBE UN-NECESSARY TESTS SO THAT THE EQUIPMENT
EMI IS COLLECTED AND COST RECOVERED..
5) Admitting the patient to “keep him under observation”.Â People go to cardiologists
feeling unwell and anxious. Most of them aren’t really having a heart attack, and
cardiologists and family doctors are well aware of this. They admit such safe patients, putthem on a saline drip with mild sedation, and send them home after 3-4 days after
charging them a fat amount for ICU, bed charges, visiting doctors fees.
6) ICU minus intensive care. Nursing homes all over the suburbs are run by doctor
couples or as one-man-shows. In such places, nurses and ward boys are 10th class dropouts in ill-fitting uniforms and bare feet. These “nurses” sit at the reception counter, give
injections and saline drips, perform ECGs, apply dressings and change bandages, and
assist in the operation theatre. At night, they even sit outside the Intensive Care Units;
there is no resident doctor. In case of a crisis, the doctor — who usually lives in the same
building — will turn up after 20 minutes, after this nurse calls him. Such ICUs admit safe
patients to fill up beds. Genuine patients who require emergency care are sent
elsewhere to hospitals having a Resident Medical Officer (RMO) round-the-clock.
7) Unnecessary caesarean surgeries and hysterectomies.Â Many surgical procedures
are done to keep the cash register ringing. Caesarean deliveries and hysterectomy
(removal of uterus) are high on the list. While the woman with labour -pains is screaming
and panicking, the obstetrician who gently suggests that caesarean is best seems like an
angel sent by God! Menopausal women experience bodily changes that make them
nervous and gullible. They can be frightened by words like ” and “fibroids” that are in
almost every normal woman’s radiology reports. When a gynaecologist gently suggests
womb removal “as a precaution”, most women and their husbands agree without a
8) Cosmetic surgery advertized through newspapers. Liposuction and plastic surgery
are not minor procedures. Some are life-threateningly major. But advertisements make
them appear as easy as facials and waxing. The Indian medical council
has strict rules against such misrepresentation. But nobody is interested in taking action.
9) Â Indirect kickbacks from doctors to prestigious hospitals. To be on the panel of a
prestigious hospital, there is give-and-take involved. The hospital expects the doctor to
refer many patients for hospital admission. If he fails to send a certain number of patients,
he is quietly dumped. And so he likes to admit patients even when there is no need.
10) “Emergency surgery” on dead body.Â If a surgeon hurriedly wheels your patient from
the Intensive Care Unit to the operation theatre, refuses to let you go inside and see him,
and wants your signature on the consent form for “an emergency
operation to save his life”, it is likely that your patient is already dead. The “emergency
operation” is for inflating the bill; if you agree for it, the surgeon will come out 15 minutes
later and report that your patient died on the operation table. And then, when you
take delivery of the dead body, you will pay OT charges, anaesthesiologist’s charges,
blah-blahDoctors are humans too. You can’t trust them blindly. Please understand the difference.
THIS ACTIVITY IS VERY VERY REAL. IN FACT THERE WAS TAMIL MOVIE MADE ON
THE REAL LIFE STORY OF JUST SUCH A SITUATION.
RohintonYoung surgeons and old ones. The young ones who are setting up nursing home etc.
have heavy loans to settle. To pay back the loan, they have to perform as many
operations as possible. Also, to build a reputation, they have to perform a large number of
operations and develop their skills. So, at first, every case seems fit for cutting. But with
age, experience and prosperity, many surgeons lose their taste for cutting, and stop
Physicians and surgeons.To a man with a hammer, every problem looks like a nail.
Surgeons like tosolve medical problems by cutting, just as physicians first seek solutions
with drugs. So, if you take your medical problem to a surgeon first, the chances are that
you will unnecessarily end up on the operation table. Instead, please go to an ordinary GP