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Concierge Medicine: How low can Doctors stoop to with their work?

Everyone knows that the American Health system is fairly broken.  Doctors don’t really care much for the patients.  If you have a simple ailment, it takes ages for them to come to a conclusion even after several tests.

I have been at the receiving end, where after a Blood Test, Urine Test, MRI and other things, a Rheumatologist wouldn’t tell me categorically if I had Gout!  When I pushed her, she told me, I can only come to the conclusion after your next attack.  And I was looking at her face with this “I can’t believe you said that shit” look.  Seriously?  You want me to have another of those painful attacks before you will even start giving me a medicine that can halt this damn thing?  And, she is this prize winning, top one in my town Indian lady doctor.

But all of that wouldn’t have prepared me to believe in this absolutely nonsensical concept called “Concierge Medicine”. Just take a look at what it is:

In the typical concierge experience, a primary-care doctor accepts insurance for routine services but also charges a non-reimbursable fee that pays for amenities (wow!!) like 24/7 access to the doctor, same-day appointments, longer appointment times and a greater degree of personalized attention. The annual fee for such practices currently averages about $1,800. (emphasis and comments are mine) [link]

I don’t know about you, but when I was growing up in India, these things:

  • 24/7 access to a doc
  • Same day appointment
  • Enough and reasonable appointment duration
  • personalized attention

were CENTRAL to the duties of a doctor!!  If I was seeing a doc for stomach ache, and it didn’t work well, I could go to his house and he would handle me.. if I was in a lot of pain.  And, if a doc doesn’t pay you any attention, why would you want such an idiot treating you in the first place??  To charge extra to do something that in any case you SHOULD have been doing to start with, is looting, not a service!!

Something is not right with the modern health system.  It has become mechanical and it pushes people to become machines as well.



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