The darker side of specialists | Are you game Presidential Candidates?

Island Opinion Page 

There are well qualified specialists in this country for eye care, heart ailments, obstetrics and many other specialised fields of medicine. Their knowledge and ability could match their counterparts in other countries.

Alas, many and not all, are money conscious and are ripping off patients every day. Their greed for money is no different to that of a drug dealer or a highway robber.

In citing an instance, I am only keen in highlighting the darker aspect and not in any way disgrace a doctor.

This highly rated specialist in eye care, both in the state and the private sector, is most sought after. I went to him first last November and continued treatment until May this year. For my eye condition, he would first ask an Optometrist’s Report to be brought. That costs me Rs 3,500 every time. Then he recommended an injection to be administered at an Operation Theatre at a private hospital. The injection costs Rs 85,000. The hospital charge is Rs 120,000. The specialists fee must be paid in cash for he wants to avoid tax. The total would come to Rs. 208,500. I was asked to do this for three occasions month after month.

When I went on the fourth occasion, I took along an eye scan which he had asked to bring. He did not even look at it and asked that another injection be administered. I gave him up.

Fortunately, I have relatives working in Singapore. They arranged for me to see an eye specialist. After examining my eye, the specialist asked me to go to a Cardiac Specialist and get a full report on my heart condition. I did it. Thereafter, she said I had lost part of my sight and would go blind soon if I DO NOT stop the deterioration immediately. For that, she carried out Laser Surgery. It only cost me US $ 1300. With that my sight has in fact improved.

The local specialist comes to private hospitals and sees patients from 4 p.m. until 10 p.m. Each patient is charged Rs 2100.The time he spends on each of them is anything between just two to three minutes. There are exceptions too..

I am aware there are specialist doctors who resort to this. Is this fair? Is there nothing the Ministry of Health and those concerned about health care can do about this ghoulish behaviour by educated and specialised men? They can take a lesson from the specialist doctors from India who spend at least five to ten minutes with a patient.

All patients do not have relatives abroad. They are at the mercy of these greedy vultures. Of course, there are specialist who have time to spend with patients. M.S. Amerasekera Udahamulla, Nugegoda

Promise Call to leading PE candidates

article_imageWe read, see and hear on a daily basis, both Sajith and Gotabaya promising everything (im)possible under the sun, if they are elected President. Fine!

Those are for the gullible citizens but there’s nothing novel or unique among them.

Why don’t you come up with some thrilling, scintillating and out of this world of promises, such as:-

  • To abolish the pension scheme of MP’s (better with retrospective effect)
  • No luxury car permits and no perks
  • No sophisticated office in high rise buildings
  • Maybe just one back up vehicle for Ministers (you promise security in the country don’t you?)
  • MP’s to pay for their meals in Parliament.
  • There are more juicy promises for politicians, which I am sure you are conversant with and can introduce.
  • You are certain to get my vote, as well as over 75% of votes, creating a record in the process.

Are you game? -WILLIAM OPP