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Old 1st September 2009, 21:29   #1
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Default What to do when a doctor rips you off

I had a minor illness, and went to an ENT specialist I'd been seeing for a while.

To say that the bill was a shock was an understatement (nearly 4 digits for 21 pills or so) . I showed the stuff to another doctor friend of mine, who grinned and told me that I had just made that particular doctor quite happy, and probably would continue to make him. And to prove his point, he showed me the same stuff , some free samples he had on him, from a different brand, at one third the price .

Suffice to say I was not too happy. And even after finishing the course , I'm not exactly better off - my friend had predicted this too.

Why I don't go to my friend for medical advice is because He's more of a businessman than a doctor, so hardly has time. But I can't but help feel ripped off.

I don't want to be too hasty in condemning him, but I want to ask other doctors here, should I go back to him (I'm still not cured) or find another guy.
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Old 1st September 2009, 21:32   #2
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If you are not happy with the doctor, find another one. Its a "service" after all
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Old 1st September 2009, 21:57   #3
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Like i said, I want to extend to him the benefit of the doubt. want to see if there may be a better explanation
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Old 1st September 2009, 22:04   #4
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I usually show/consult atleast 2 Docs when I'm in doubt. Somehow I can recognise the glow on some of the faces when they hear that I work for a software major.
We should understand in some cases when the Doc says 'Its all reimbursable'. Call me a cynic or whatever, but I have been tried too many times.

I would suggest that you go back to him once more, if you have been consulting him for over a period now. But also take a second opinion after his visit. After all patient history is very very valuable.

Last edited by prince_pervez : 1st September 2009 at 22:06.
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Old 1st September 2009, 22:08   #5
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Green, I once met a doc who tried to con me. He was so desperate, he sounded like a sales guy at the end of the month to meet targets! They are not like they used to be. Having said that, I do know quite a lot of Docs who are good and would really care about the patient rather than the dough. Ask friends and family to refer. Always better to go through reference. (since I am not a doc, this is all i can tell you)
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Old 1st September 2009, 22:11   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greenhorn View Post
...even after finishing the course , I'm not exactly better off...
should I go back to him (I'm still not cured) or find another guy.
Quote:
Originally Posted by greenhorn View Post
I want to extend to him the benefit of the doubt. want to see if there may be a better explanation
Benefit of doubt at the cost of what? Your health?

If you are not cured, you have a choice of either putting in a repeat visit if you trust the doctor, or finding yourself another whom you can trust.

If as you say,
Quote:
the bill was a shock
, and on top of it you haven't become better, maybe you can ask your friend to suggest another doctor.

Cheap doctors are not necessarily bad doctors, nor are expensive ones necessarily good doctors.
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Old 1st September 2009, 22:14   #7
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May I ask what the illness was? Normal OPD prescriptions do not cost in excess of 500/-.
Anyways, get abother Doctor & if the stigma is too much to handle, sue the chap!
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Old 1st September 2009, 22:45   #8
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My family has many doctors, but I am never aware of it. But here is the case with my mother.

My mother was once on insulin injections thrice a day. The doctor has recommended these for good health. That doctor is very famous in Vadodara for keeping the patients in hospital for too long, i.e. admitting the patients and keeping them for too long.
Then we started visiting another doctor who was once a head in IPCL ( when it was IPCL and not reliance ). He clearly mentioned that considering the fact that a lot of medicines are available for diabetes, its not good to jump to insulin injections that too thrice a day.

We started taking his treatment and now mom is currently on tablets and not insulins. This is the effect from doctor to doctor.
One had inscribed three injections of insulin and my mom started taking the injections herself. Even after this mom was not comfortable and low sugar was regular. Right now with the tablets, all parameters are in control.

My word is : having a family doctor is the best option. Our family doctor clearly knows all four of us. He knows that I am not capable of taking combiflam or brufen as it gives me reaction. Others prescribe me this medicine even after I claim that I am getting reactions from these medicines, but they say its necessary.

If you are still not feeling well, go to another doctor ASAP and next time also have a talk with neighbors/friends and then keep one doctor fixed.
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Old 2nd September 2009, 00:27   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aagoswami
One had inscribed three injections of insulin and my mom started taking the injections herself. Even after this mom was not comfortable and low sugar was regular. Right now with the tablets, all parameters are in control.
The low sugar was because of the 3 injections of insulin.

The money that the kids and their parents pay to become doctors these days is incomprehensible. What you are seeing is just them trying to get out of the huge debt that they're in.

Last edited by pranavt : 2nd September 2009 at 00:29.
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Old 2nd September 2009, 06:36   #10
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If a doctor is overcharging you for medicines, i.e charging you more than MRP thats cheating and illegal. If he's charged you MRP and its expensive-Thats not really cheating.
Prices of drugs vary wildly depending on brand used.
Costlier brands may be prescribed because- sometimes, they are better.
sometimes out of personal preference. sometimes because they get more margin. mostly its the 1st cause.
if a doctor overcharges you on consultation- I dont know what to say- Cnsultation charges vary from doc to doc. its upto them to decide what their labour/skill/knowlege/time is worth and upto the patient to decide if it was VFM.
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Old 2nd September 2009, 09:16   #11
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Having a family doctor you can trust and also who is good is really the best. I had finally found one after many many years in Bangalore, his treatment worked everytime like clockwork and he was a retired doctor with loads of experience. And then I moved out to Manipal next year. I am again back to square one, no family doctor I can trust. Haven't been to one in 4 years, just dread the day I would need one.
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Old 2nd September 2009, 09:29   #12
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Well had a very bitter experience with doctors. It was more on wrong diagnosis.

Grandma had a lump on her cheek which looked like water having accumulated there. so began the visits to doctors in mysore and all they said was it is nothing to bother about etc etc and one also said why do u want to look beautiful in old age it will go away.
So after a year of medicines but no cure she came for a visit to mangalore where we were put up. So went to our family doctor who was a surgeon. First thing he asked for was a needle biopsy. Reports came and our worst fear was confirmed.
Lymphoma in the 3rd stage. Cancer for people who have no idea. We were shocked and then came back to our senses and got all tests and surgery and the chemo done as quickly as we could. The cases i read about presented a gloomy picture but its been 3 years since and my grandma is in good health.

Makes me think only if the doctors had told this one year before we would have prevented something which had reached a critical stage. Thanks to this doctor in mangalore. Can never forget the extent he went for our sake
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Old 2nd September 2009, 20:37   #13
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I had an uncle who died because of a wrong diagnosis by his family doctor. like my friend once said, doctors are humans too, and can make mistakes, so I dont hold them to any particularly higher standards.

I'm going back tommorow ( cant stand the pain)
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Old 2nd September 2009, 23:20   #14
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Feel your pain fellas, the first dentist I visited ruined some of my teeth , I never had a tooth-related problem before that .
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Old 3rd September 2009, 14:31   #15
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Consultation fee: Decided by the Doc in case of a private practice, this depends on many factors such as location of his practice, his skill, the value he believes his degree holds, etc...Many docs charge extra if you ask for a reciept, that is a whole other debate.


Price of drugs:
Again vary from brand to brand. Many of the bigger brands have better QC than the smaller ones, and hence price is a few times more.

I love giving the example of Augmentin. A simple drug (Amoxacillin & Clavulanic acid) some of the domestic pharmas sell this at an MRP of Rs 150 or so.
GlaxoSmithKline sells it at Rs 650 or some such.
But I can definitely guarantee that the GSK drug is well worth it for those who can afford it, as QC is much, much better.

Honest advice: I doubt the doctor in question would've tried to rip you off since you're a known patient. All charges should be clear and above the table. If they're not, then ask for clarification. Go back to him and ask him to examine you again. You've not stated your complaint, so I have no idea about the drugs you were on and if you were not cured of your illness due to resistance towards said drug...


OT: @whoever said that docs these days are ripping people off to pay off depts:
Please don't generalise. Yes today tuition fee at private med schools is expensive, but our business is somewhat self-regulating. If you practice in a posh locale, you have the liberty to charge more so long as you're good, else you end up loosing money in the long run since our marketing is mostly through word of mouth and referals.
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