Physician, Heal Thyself

The first cut is the deepest

I’ve heard of payment in advance, but this is ridiculous.

When you book your car in for a service you expect the work will be done, an invoice issued, and then you pay your bill.

The same applies when you build a house. You contract a builder, they do some of that building shit, and then you pay.

So why are surgeons different?

Why is it that I’ve had to pay in advance for some upcoming surgery I’ll be having?

Don’t they trust themselves?

Is this some form of insurance in case I don’t make it?

We all know today’s medical fraternity operates in a highly litigious environment, and to secure themselves against potential patient claims they have to insure themselves to the max, but does that give them the right to make pre-emptive strikes against their customers?

Is this insurance by proxy?

I’m starting to think I’ve chosen a dud.

Perhaps through no fault of her own a few of her customers haven’t left the operating theatre as alive as when they went in. Perhaps I’ve picked a surgeon with a poor track record, and that maybe she’s lost the odd patient in her travels.

Maybe she’s been left out of pocket one time too many.

I hope not.

Obviously a patient can’t sign a credit card voucher when they’re six feet under but it doesn’t inspire confidence when it becomes a pay-before-you-stay situation.

I’m hoping it’s just a case of covering the up-front costs of using the hospital’s operating theatre and equipment, and not a sign of horrible things to come.

Hopefully I’ll be around to give you all the graphic details next month. I might call the article “101 Things You Didn’t Know About Sinus Surgery”, or maybe “Mucous For Beginners”.

Or not.

For me, the term “Standard Operating Procedure” just took on a whole new meaning.

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2 responses to “Physician, Heal Thyself

  1. If you don’t have confidence in the person who will be in charge of knocking you out and then digging around inside your head, cancel the deal and find someone who does give you confidence. There is enough to worry about when having an operation. Adding to the worry because the doctor is dodgy is not worthwhile. On the other hand, is it just the payment that has you concerned? If that is the only issue, I wouldn’t worry too much. I think I’ve always paid up front. Difference is, I’m pretty sure you’re mechanic won’t give your car back until you paid. I’m pretty sure the doctor will give you your head back straight away.

  2. Thanks Bartrim. I have full confidence in the surgeon, I just find it strange that they require an up-front payment. She is apparently one of the best ENT specialists in the business, so I’m looking forward to enjoying life after the op.

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