Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Patient taking money from the doctor

When you see the title I am sure you will be frowning. It is always the doctor who takes money from the patient, not the other way round.

But sometimes it can happen. Today it happened to me not once, but twice.

First it was a 50-year-old lady, an agricultural worker and a long-term patient of mine. She used to bring fresh vegetables from her kitchen garden often, and I used to waive the consultation fee. This time I had ordered a few blood tests, and she had to spend all her money for it. After consulting me, showing me her test results and getting a prescription, she wanted a loan of RS.20 for buying the bus ticket that will take her back to her home 15 kilometres away. I readily obliged, and she said goodbye promising me to return the amount when she come next time.
After an hour came a man whose face I remember only vaguely. He introduced himself as the son of a long-term patient of mine who had passed away 2 years ago. I could recollect the patient very well. He lived in another town 40 kilometres away where I worked previously. He was suffering from Chronic obstructive lung disease and was a regular visitor to my clinic.Even when I shifted my practise to my home town[where I work presently] he continued to consult me till his death.

The son of that patient wanted my help. He had come to my town [which is the District headquarters] to get a certificate from a Government office.While he was travelling in bus, his pocket got picked and he lost his wallet. He lost all the money he carried. He needed money for paying the fee for the certificate and to get back home. He said I am the only person he can ask for money in this town. Again I obliged.

For me this happens once in a while. Most of the cases are genuine and money is returned promptly, but some try to dupe me with false stories. Early in my practise I had fallen for some fake sob stories,but now I am more careful.
So remember, it is not always the doctor getting richer with the patient's money, the reverse also happen.

1 comment:

CALpumper said...

Great post Doc.
Thanks for the insight into what a Doc goes through, sees and deals with.

Honesty between Doc and patient goes a long way into developing a wonderful relationship!

Good work! 'Tis better to give then receive. ;-)