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Doctor Loses License for Asking Patient ‘What is your budget?’

A doctor in Kenya has lost his practicing license after his ‘overly enterprising’ method of operation was brought to light. The doctor who runs a popular private clinic in Nairobi was fond of asking patients who were seeking treatment at the clinic about their budget so that he can figure out what to charge them, something the Medical Practitioners and Dentists Council found very worrying.

 The enterprising doctor who had ran multiple businesses before graduating from medical school is well known in the Sales world for his great business acumen. This is what he decided to carry into his medical practice and instead of just charging a standard price for every client who walked into his clinic, he opted to have a strategy that cares for the interest of everybody.

“He would ask clients how much they could afford to pay, negotiate with them to pay a little more than they were willing, then offer treatment based on what one could afford. A poor cancer patient would end up receiving a few pain killers while a rich patient suffering from a mild headache would pay tens of thousands and have their head X-rayed. It was total chaos.”

While his approach is the standard way that marketers do their stuff, the Council found it quite disturbing and although no one could point out why the approach was wrong, they agreed that the doctor should pursue other career such as social media marketing.

Patients also felt that they don’t want that kind of approach to their health. “Given a chance, we all would never want to visit a hospital because unlike a birthday party, a hospital visit is not something that we look forward to and we do not go there because life is good. We only visit when we think that we have lost a part of our life and we want it restored to normal. This is why we want the visits to be few, and brief. It is bad if we are viewed as clients.

The doctor has appealed the suspension.