A hospital is not exactly a destination of choice for any of us. I mean, no one goes online to check out the different hospitals in his neighbourhood just for kicks! And if you do, then you are either way to compulsive or you have a weird hobby!
The word ‘hospital’ is derived from the Latin word hospes, which means host. Ironically today’s hospitals are anything but hospitable. Right from the door attendant to the surgeon, all seem to have forgotten the value of hospitality in an industry that is based on the quality of your service.
The modern-day hospital is part of the ever-burgeoning hospitality (no pun intended!) and service industry. Meaning that it and its facilities are subject to the same standard one would expect from a hotel, a consultancy or even a bank. Sadly this concept has not really sunken into the minds of people on either side of the looking glass. This applies primarily to information of the tariff structure. If you’ve had the opportunity to pay for the treatment availed by you or your loved one, seldom do you know the cost involved till it is time to pay the piper!
I sympathise with the medical professionals as they have to deal with the human body, which, despite decades of study, still remains unpredictable. As such, it is impossible to ascertain the array of tests, treatments and other peripherals involved.
But the truth is that when the medical professional gives the estimation of the involved costs to you, he isn’t factoring in the unpredictability as a variable. Instead it is your income level that plays a major component in his equation!
A simple estimation of the general cost of treating common ailments would help the common man a great deal. At the least the honchos at the hospital should spell out the tariff structure of the rooms and facilities provided by their establishment. Please remember, the minute you begin distinguishing between the classes of facilities that are provided to the diverse customer base, you are liable to make available information detailing payment structure.
Part of the problem which has led to this sorry state is the attitude of the general public towards hospitals and doctors in particular. Even today, the flesh and blood doctor is revered and placed on a super-human pedestal and the brick and mortar hospital is akin to a temple! That bespectacled doctor is also a professional who gets paid for his skill, knowledge and effort just like any other employed individual albeit an error on his part could lead to disastrous consequences and maybe even fatalities.
Hospitals and doctors should not be treated like demigods; rather start treating them like any other corporation and its employee who are doing their job to the best of their capabilities to ensure the satisfaction and well-being of those who come to them.