ISSN: 1391 - 0531
Sunday October 7, 2007
Vol. 42 - No 19

Should doctors hold us to ransom ?

I was recently held to ransom by an upcoming group of professionals whose services we are all going after at much cost and time. My number was 3 at a leading hospital. The specialist was to arrive at 4 p.m. but it was after 6.15 and there was no sign of this specialist arriving.

The hospital had no clue of the doctor's movements. Aghast at this outcome as a senior citizen and a heart patient myself, and having taken another senior citizen for a consultation I raised a hue and cry. We were in a quandary having paid the non-refundable consultation fee, and since we had to keep to the transportation schedule.

My agitation was conveyed to the doctor by the hospital authorities and the doctor took a disinterested view. She scanned through the reports off-handedly and suggested that we enter the National Hospital even though we showed reluctance. She said unequivocally that she could give full attention only in the National Hospital and had no time for treating patients satisfactorily in private hospitals.

She frightened us with a litany of consequences if we did not follow her advice for which we are thankful. We subsequently found a gentleman specialist, a rare species in Lanka. Would the Health Minister and the GMOA please find ways and means of eradicating this question of holding patients to ransom. If a refund were made possible, hospitals and doctors would start respecting the rights of the patients.

By Walter Fernando, Ratmalana

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