Specialists charging excessively for routine medical visits
“Concerned reader”, Knysna: Recently, I was referred to a specialist for a routine gynaecologist examination and lab test because I was simply too embarrassed to have my male GP do it. I spent no more than 15 or 20 minutes in the consulting room of the specialist doctor. Within 24 hours I was advised by my medical aid that they would only cover their maximum for such a visit, which is R600 of the R1 500 charged by the practitioner. The balance of almost R900 I would have to settle personally. The lab test was an additional R400 (covered by the medical aid) which brought a routine visit to just on R2 000.
As a pensioner, paying the difference on the account was a huge stretch financially.
I just wonder how on earth I could be charged this amount for a routine visit and it bothers me that this kind of excessive charging is exactly why many, many women do not undergo important medical tests.
I suggest prospective female patients get quotes from the medical practitioner before they undergo any tests.
I think this was the most shameful example of patient exploitation I have ever come across.
Or have I simply lost touch with the realities of medical care for women?