Thursday, 29 July 2010

Medical fees - how my colleagues embarrass me

Medical fees must be one of the most unregulated, outrageous things ever.  For some reason shopping around with medical fees is not like shopping around for a car or your groceries - people seem to think that once you have one that's it.  But it amazes me sometimes how much people charge and what they can get away with.

It started with my parents a few years ago when they had a colonoscopy.  Mum told me that the colonoscopy cost $2000 and the anaesthetic was $800!  I nearly fell of my chair.  That means that they were WAYYY out of pocket.  I gapcover all my scopes, because they're such quick procedures, you'll make good money already.  But $800! For a 20 minute anaesthetic?  Maybe 30 minutes?  I mean really does anyone think they're worth $1600-$2400 an hour???  And what makes them better than me?

On Tuesday we were discussing fees and what people charge (amongst my anaesthetic colleagues).  At the San (Private hospital in Northern Sydney) a relative of one of my colleagues was $700 out of pocket for a knee scope!  And they're with Medibank Private!  Which means that the knee scope probably cost close to $1000 for the anaesthetic alone!  My fee is less than half of that!  So do people REALLY think (patients that is) that they're getting a better anaesthetic for that ridiculous price?  I do post op follow ups, I am considerate and caring and I give plenty of advice about what to do for pain relief after the operation and what to expect.  I bet you half of these slack dogs don't even do that.  And nobody does a thing about it.  And some anaesthetists charge $1000 for an epidural IN HOURS! For labour pain.  And that is more than double my fee EASILY.  The things people get away with.  It's truly astonishing. 

Sometimes I feel like I should write an anonymous letter to the paper or Today Tonight or something looking at the price of medical bills.

Sometimes I am temped

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