Ripping off the sick

health-care-ripoffFrom time to time there is a story that pushes your buttons and just makes you angry. Ripping off people is bad enough, but when a reputable hospital starts ripping off sick patients, that just makes people angry.

Imagine if you would that you have some sort of medical condition that forces you to take some medication. Take for example insulin to help treat diabetes. A diabetic person is forced to refill their prescription regularly as insulin has a limited shelf life of about a month. Typically an established diabetic patient who knows how to handle their diabetes would be required to see a doctor once or twice a year. This is normal and does make all the sense in the world when you come and think about it.

What is happening as Connecting the Dots has investigated at least one hospital in Bangkok is forcing their diabetic patients to see a doctor at every refill. What that simply means is added costs to the patient from 10% to 100% depending on the cost of the prescription refill.

The hospital has decided this is necessary but in fact it is not. If you make enough noise or simply threaten to change hospitals, they will refill your prescription without seeing the doctor. However they will also try to slip in some added fees like nursing charges, and if you make noise about them as well they also will disappear.

From the outside it sends a bad message about the doctors who work their. It suggests that they are a bunch of inept fools if they can not make a proper diagnoses and need to see people for every prescription refill. The need to see them without reason tends to significantly erode respect in their ability and that of the hospital as well.

Connecting the Dots by chance talked to 5 people who had the same experience, and that was enough to fire-up the keyboard and write this post. We did not look past diabetic out patients, but in the sense if it is good for one then it must be good for all. So with that you can make your own assumptions as to how wide spread this rip off tactic goes.

The Hospital at the center of this is Bangkok Nursing Hospital (BNH), as there is no need to be anonymous with this. It is very clear this decision to rip off the sick is coming from non medical people. Very simply doctors would never deliberately dirty their own face by showing they don’t know what they are doing. The fact is the doctors at BNH are qualified, but someone looking to fatten their wallet at the expense of the sick is at the center of this scam.

There has been suggestions that this practice is seen in other hospitals. So the way to find out if you are being ripped off is simply check around both inside and outside of Thailand what is the norm for maintenance of your condition. If you discover that the frequency of doctor visits and tests do not match, it is suggested that some action be taken privately and publically. Medical tourism is a big part of Thailand’s self marketing. So of the government gets wind of this through very public means being the media or other, the practice will very quickly come to an end as this also dirties the face of Thailand as well.

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