Another patient complains!
Read this comment by "anonymous at November 26, 2006 11:37 PM" over at angrydoc's blog.
I had an experience about a doctor prescribing cough and running nose medicine to my son even if the child was not showing the symptoms. The clinic's name is: Lifelink Clinic & Surgery 446 Pasir Ris Drive 6 #01-120 Singapore 510446.
I asked the doctor why did he do it and he was stunned why I asked. He said later that he had given the two medicines just in case the child would be sick with cough and running nose.
Total bill is $50. And the medicine we are expecting was the antibiotic as my kid was having fever, and was vomitting. But there was no antibiotic.
This experience, as was my experience with the doctors here in Singapore, shows how clinics are mere cashcows, and not a place to be healed. It seems to me that doctors have forgotten about their Hippocratic oath and their service to humanity. Their minds are more bent on how to earn more money to pay the increasing rentals and other expenses related to their clinics. "
This is really quite typical of Singaporean patients (for you overseas, non-Singaporean people reading this). Antibiotics is an "expected" medicine when it comes to all forms of colds and flus. If you ever see a Singaporean patient in your clinic (wherever you are) you better giver him/her antibiotics!
As for the cashcow bit. Well I can't speak for the GP in question. It is true that some GPs might really be milking you for all that it is worth, but I find it strange that if this GP was really like that, why not milk you the cashcow a LOT more by giving you some original patented antibiotic and make the bill $85 instead?
Sometimes we do get requests from patients asking for these medicines as their children DO INDEED develop runny nose, and cough a couple of days later. I doubt any GP out there in Singapore would dare to say "No Sorry! Your kid get runny nose and cough then I give you the medicine. Now cannot give!"
Of course the real issue here is that there was something lost in the communication chain between the patient and the doctor. The patient has a right to refuse medicine! Isn't "anonymous" aware of it? Or too intimidated by some old looking grey haired doctor to speak up? And this GP forgot to enquire what ideas, concerns and expectations (mnemonic ICE) you might have. If he had, then I doubt you would have this problem. It takes two hands to clap I guess.
What's with the complaint of a bill of $50 inclusive of consult and medicines? Hey that's real cheap compared to other FIRST WORLD COUNTRIES (don't go comparing with third world ok? You're not the government :)) I wonder if anyone reading this is a doctor from Oz or Uk or Canada or US. Please write here how much a visit to your office would cost?
As for the use of antibiotics. I have previously written a long post on this in February 2006. Go read it. Get educated. Cold or flu, antibiotics don't work for you!