We respect them, we fear them, and sometimes we are just so irritated with them. Doctors today are not much different from businessmen. If you watched the 4th episode of Satyamev Jayate, you would know exactly what we mean. No matter how nice your doctor is, it is unlikley that he/she has never ripped you off with extra and unecessary expenses.
Common ways of cheating patients are to prescribe tests and medicines that are not required, referring the patient to a specialist doctor without any real need, and scaring the patient into getting expensive treatments. If you feel your doctor has been robbing you of your money, here are a few things you should do:
- Get a second opinion. Whenever you have the slightest doubt, go for a second opinion. Remember that doctors are businessmen who have to sell treatments, medical investigations and referrals. You have to watch out for yourself!
- Whenever possible, go to a government hospital or a medical college hospital. The services are cheaper, yet of very good quality.
- If in doubt about prescribed investigations, do a little research on google. For example, the government of India has banned the use of expensive IgM and IgG tests for detection of TB, yet the doctors continue to prescribe them. A little research can help in saving loads of money!
- Do not let the doctor scare you into getting any kind of surgery. Do not let them sell you treatments you have never considered yourself. If you get the feeling that he/she is trying to scare you, seek a second opinion immediately.
- Try to take good care of your health so that you can avoid seeing the doctor as much as possible. Prevention is better than cure, after all!