Sometimes however good we try to be, however good we try to do for others, we end up hurt and sad. Even with the best of intentions, we can have the worst of ordeals. This is something, we have no control over.
Last week, when a patient was counting money again and again for the diagnostic tests advised by the doctor, he looked broke and perplexed. He certainly looked shattered both from within and without. Long term illness has made him frail and the expense involved in his healthcare has made him lose his self esteem. This was not the first time that I met someone like him. I knew exactly what to do. I have the privilege of waiving off the consultation charges for my boss, a senior cardiologist in the country. I did exactly, what I was supposed to. I sent the patient to the billing counter asking him to do the minimal billing for the non-invasive tests at a reduced rate. The patient didn’t know what to do but his eyes glittered telling me a lot. It felt good.
I expedited the procedure and tried to wind up things for him since he had a train to catch. He is living in a remote suburbs that takes him nearly five hours to reach. The examinations went passed fast and even faster he got the reports. Even the ones that was supposed to be delivered the next day.
As I forwarded the reports to the doctor and guided the patient to the office, I was complacent. It feels good when you genuinely do something from your heart. The patient came out after a short while with a comprehensive prescription and guidelines. I explained to the patient the whole thing again. When and how to take the medications and what and what not to do for a better living. It was a long counseling, but I never felt bored. I never feel actually. As a matter of fact it gives me immense pleasure to have people understood me. The challenge still lies in their conviction to imbibe those in daily life though.
The patient smiled at me – his way of thanking me and went off only to return after half an hour. Now, he asked me something that took me by my feet. He told me that the doctor hadn’t seen him properly. When asked the reason, he told me that why else he didn’t charge him! I was taken aback by his question. did not know what to answer. Couldn’t even blame him since the healthcare industry everywhere has been so commercialized today. No one can imagine having complimentary visits to doctors’ offices.
That day, I realized something. Somethings in life never change. Who you are, some people with good values and ‘no good deed goes unpunished’.