Mangaluru: Doctors Should not Treat Patients as Revenue Generators – Dr Ganapathi

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Mangaluru: The department of Hospital Administration, Father Muller Medical College organized a workshop on Costing of Hospital Services, “Trends 2015”, at the Knowledge Centre, FMMI campus here, on June 27.

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The programme began with an invocation. Dean of FMMC, Dr Jayaprakash Alva welcomed the gathering. The programme was inaugurated by the Chairman of Mangala Nursing Home, Dr Ganapathi P, by lighting the traditional lamp along with other dignitaries on the dais.

Addressing the gathering, Dr Ganapathi said that health care is the second largest industry in India. There is an urgent need to bring a sound cost management system to improve efficiency to reduce costs. Funding is a great problem and paying interest on the loans borrowed is a great burden. There is great disparity between the large and small hospitals which has to be looked into. “You should touch the lives of the patient rather than looking into costing of the hospital,”.

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To bring down the cost and provide health care at affordable cost should be the ultimate aim. In health care, the major problems are the over dependency on machines instead of the skills of the doctors, trust deficit between patient, doctors and the insurance company, and lack of medical insurance in rural areas. There are a number of medical schemes for the people but they are not aware of them. He said that it is the need of the hour to bring awareness among the people of the various medical schemes.

He further said that it is not easy to start a medical hospital because it is not considered as an industry. “When a fresh graduate doctor starts his own hospital, he should not think of profit for 6 to 7 years. Because when you take loan to start your hospital, you cannot divert the funds to your personal needs. When you invest in any hospital, you should remember 2 facts: revenue generating investments and non-revenue generating investments. At the beginning, you have to invest only in revenue generating requirements. Once the inflow of revenue begins, you can go for non-revenue generating requirements. If you invest in revenue generating investment, the hospital achieves sustainability. Once the hospital reaches the level where you can repay the loan, you can go for better quality equipment by putting money into non-revenue generating investments.”

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Further advising the gathering, he said that once a person starts working as an administrator, he should not think on internal revenue rate. “For bankers, customers are money but doctors should not treat patients as their revenue generators. They have to treat the patients as their assets. Don’t look at the patient as if they are money but look at them as a patient. If the patient will recover soon, you will get more patients. If any doctor fleeces patients with unnecessary tests and diagnosis thus generating more revenue on the lives of the patients, do not congratulate him. Having a patient recover soon without any complications is a better turnover.”

He also said that the employees who work hard to generate revenue should be paid incentives and encouraged. “Identify the employees as star performers and non-star performers. Pay incentives to the star performers. If we encourage employees, they will perform better.” He congratulated the administration department for holding the workshop on Costing of Hospital Services.

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Fr Patrick Rodrigues, in his presidential address said that the charges for a medical test depend on the machine cost, running cost, etc. For example in some hospitals, the charge for a dengue test is Rs 1000. Some hospitals charge Rs 1500, but Fr Muller charges only Rs 600. “When we think of the charges of other hospitals, we get confused whether we can afford the cost or not. The concept of costing is very essential for administrators, and I feel that every hospital should have at least one department with personnel who are competent to evaluate the costing.”

Dean of FMMC, Dr Sanjeev Rai and convener Dr Namritha were also present.

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1 Comment

  1. What a wonderful message on Health Care and the relevant costs that comes from the Workshop that took place at Fr. Muller’s Hospital. Thank you, Dr. Ganapathi, for your timely and thoughtful message that will instill some useful ideas for the young Medical Doctors that are about to begin their Medical careers.

    Health Care is a costly investment nowadays due to the fact that more and more research has become prevalent and the patients require the best possible diagnosis and cure. Cost is a major factor for consideration both for the patients as well as the Medical Institute. This is where the Medical Insurance plays an important role in the United States where the patient’s rights are fully protected and the timely medical treatment is granted by the Medical Institution in consultation with the Insurance Underwriters.

    The Medical Institutes have to make sure where the money comes from towards the deserving medical treatment to the patients. The costly investments towards new instruments and sophisticated gadgets have to be recovered from somewhere. Countries such as India where the population is four times higher than the United States, the Medical needs are obviously higher and the research facilities also have to be expanded.

    All said and done, Doctors timely decisions have to be focused on the patients and the required treatments where the ultimate costs have to be carefully decided so that all the investments involved are protected somehow somewhere by giving the patients the best service possible.

    Medical profession is a pure dedication that the Medical authorities have to decide in a timely manner in consultation with the Insurance Companies or the Government authorities so that the required fees are protected and the patient gets the best deserved treatment.

    Fr. Muller’s Charitable Institute is a classic example where patients regardless of their faith or financial background are given the best possible treatment. Bishop Aloysius was telling me that quite a substantial portion of the patients get the admission in the hospital without any Insurance provision or any other support. This is a magnanimous gesture on the part of the Mangalore Diocese to render such a noble service to the patients. God’s merciful hand joins the hands and minds as well as hearts of all those Medical personnel and the best discretion is put in force to provide the best possible treatment.

    God bless Fr. Mullers Hospital and all those that are instrumental in providing the best possible treatment to the patients that seek medical treatment as outpatients or as inpatients.

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