Monday, July 11, 2011

A surgery performed on DEAD Body? Just to inflate the hospital bill?

Well, whether we believe it or not... 
What you are going to read in this article, most of it is true and  happening in reality. You and me may not be aware about it. But that necessarily does not mean they are not happening.

This is a reality of the day. Medical professionals are taking advantage and playing with the sentiments of the people to get hefty commissions from labs, hospitals and other specialists who they refer us to for further check-ups or investigations or hospitalization, medical surgeries and treatment. The idea is to pick your pocket. Simple.

I am not implying, all are involved in this racket. But most, majority of medical practitioners are. It would be unfair to say, all are crooks.
But many, a large number of medical practitioners are looting us
with this referral system created by their own fraternity to earn commissions from their counter parts for referring to them.

The already distressed families who are going through emotional stress when their loved one is diagnosed with serious illness, doctors are looking at them as potential "bakraa" for making a hefty bill. And in most cases, the health issue is blown-out-of-proportion to scare family members to get them to agree for all investigations and surgeries, even if not required. The objective is only to inflate the bill. The sole selfish objective.

Just last week, I got a frantic call from a very close friend who said, Ajay I have been diagnosed having heart problem and advised to go in for Angeography immediately.  He is only 30 years young. Of course, today, it does not matter, if you are 25 or 30 years young. Many of this young age have become victims of Cardiac problems at early young age too because of their worst lifestyles and constant work pressures. But in his case I had my own doubts and so I decided to check with my own doctor who is a friend, a cardiologist.

After seeing his initial reports, Cardiac problem was ruled out by my friend, because my friend had no other pointers to lead diagnosis to possible cardiac issues. His ECG, Sono graphy and even stress test with all other test were done.

But nothing suspicious was found in his reports. However, he was advised by his family doctor to go in for an angiography and with an urgency. 

Now I am told by my close friends from the medical profession that, when they do angiography, they will, same time do angioplasty there and there in the operation theater and you will be told, after it is done, so many blockages were found in his angiogaphy and therefore,  we decided to do angioplasty immediately. ( This is the trick played in most cases to inflate the bills)

This is the reason why hospitals take your permission by asking you to sign the legal documents before taking patient inside the operation theater. So you really can not say anything. You have given them the rights to make an educated decision on the spot, if it warrants any surgery or so. 

You are always told by the doctors, time is the important factor in this operation. We cant wait for your permission because it is a life and death situation. Otherwise also, no doctor,no hospital takes the moral or legal responsibility about the life of your patient. That 's why you are asked to sign on the papers. So whatever happens, you are responsible not the doctors.

Now this a catch 22 situation for patients family. All the emotions are involved. For you, your loved ones life is paramount. So you will sign on the blank papers also at that time. But this is where the game is played. Knowing well, no one will say no to doctors to perform what is necessary in the operation theater. And the crooks are playing a game with us to make fast money when you go to seek medical help.

Just read the following news that talks of how much commission doctors get when they refer you and me to other services like labs, specialists and hospitals. It is outrageous.

God !! Could this be even 'partially' true?. We better have as many Doctor friends as possible.

It is a crime to get Sick In India. What you will read bellow is no worst than corruption at many government offices. But this corruption is well organized. Exactly like an organized crime.
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.

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.

5) Admitting the patient to "keep him under observation". 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, put them 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 drop-outs 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 elsewhereto hospitals having a Resident Medical Officer (RMO) round-the-clock.

7) Unnecessary caesarian surgeries and hysterectomies. Many surgical procedures are done to keep the cash register ringing. Caesarian 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 caesarian 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"cysts" 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 second's

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) 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. ( This one is unbeatable. It shows the level of corrupt minds and degeneration of human values in our society)

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-blah-

Doctors are humans too. You can't trust them blindly. Please understand the difference.
Young 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 recommending operations.

Physicians and surgeons. To a man with a hammer, every problem looks like a nail. Surgeons like to solve 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 first

How do you save yourself from this ripoff? From this Loot? 

Go to see your GP first. If any tests are asked to perform ask your GP, what is he or she thinking? If it sounds serious to you, take a second opinion from a doctor who is your friend or your friend's friend but a specialist. Tell him/her openly what your doctor is thinking and the tests asked to do. Make sure you go to see a specialist who is known to someone like a friend or close relative. Don't see an unknown Doctor because he or she will put you into the same loop to make money from you. And you and your family will suffer financially and emotionally.

You only need to be alert and smart. Not all the doctors are crooks. There are many who are honest and sincere and work with the holistic approach and don't even charge you high fees but their diagnosis is honest.

Forward this article to all your friends and creat awareness about this racket in the medical profession that loots people. It will be a good social work you will be doing in creating this awareness among more and more people.

Ajay Angre
Author, Writer, Publisher 

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