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Pattaya Daily News

26 April 2011 :: 14:04:50 pm 53195

Emma Chizzit?

I have been asked to “do something” on pricing, which for me is a very difficult task. I admit that I often get asked “how much does it cost to have a ………..” (fill in the dotted line yourself), for which I have a standard reply, “I have no idea!”
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There are a couple of good reasons for this – it would be impossible for me to keep a price list for the thousands of procedures which can be done in this hospital in my head, and secondly, in all my medical life I have been involved in the ‘clinical’ side of medicine, not the financial side of medicine. Which probably explains why I am not sitting on the Costa del Sol sipping martini’s.

However, it does remind me of the neurosurgeon whose toilet blocked up at two in the morning, just after he had returned home after a two hour operation. He rang the plumber, who arrived two hours later, who then set to and had the blockage fixed in 10 minutes. “How much?” asked the neurosurgeon. That will be $3,000,” said the plumber with a very straight face. “How much!” the neurosurgeon exploded. “That is $18,000 an hour. That is more than I make as a highly trained specialist neurosurgeon!” To which the plumber replied, “I fully realize that. I couldn’t make that sort of money when I was a neurosurgeon either.”

Which in turn does remind me of the patient querying a bill of $100 for setting a broken finger, and demanding that it be itemized. “Certainly,” was the reply. “$10 for setting the finger plus another $90 for knowing how.”

Sure, prices are important I know, but the people to ask does not include me, your drinking mates or the chap across the street who thinks he just had that procedure done. The correct people to ask can be found by ringing the hospital central number 1719 or via email to inquiry@bph.co.th.

by Dr.Iain Corness

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