A hospital bed is like a parked taxi with the meter running. – Groucho Marx

A visit to a hospital for a patient – be it for a consultation or a hospitalization, is often accompanied by mixed feelings of fear and faith.

The ‘Fear’ of the outcome of a consultation – in terms of an unfavorable disease diagnosis, the need for further tests and treatment, the need of a prolonged hospital stay, the affordability of the cost of treatments, the time-frames to resume work, et cetera. And in present times, the fear of a ‘Covid-19 infection’.

At the same time, the hospital visit is also accompanied by the ‘Faith’ that the doctors, allied staff and the hospital services ; will ensure a safe and speedy recovery.

The recent years have unfortunately ushered a ‘fear element in the faith’ aspect of the patient’s relationship with their healthcare providers. A fear that has emerged because of the ‘acts of omission and commission’ on the part of some ‘rotten apples’ in the medical fraternity and the healthcare community.

Avoidable tests, avoidable procedures, amongst others, as well as market driven prescription and patient-referral practices, have eroded the faith of the patient community in the medical profession.

The lack of effective communication , has compounded this erosion of faith in a profession which has sadly witnessed a progressive erosion of its ethics and its ‘Nobility’.

There is therefore an urgent need for the medical profession to reboot and re-invent itself, and regain its compromised respect in the society.

The crafting of delightful patient experiences needs all healthcare providers and promoters, to be in sync with the ‘Patient-First’ philosophy and ensuring a delighted team of providers and promoters is the key to delightful patient experiences.

It’s very much possible for all the three sets of stakeholders – patients, providers and promoters ; to co-exist and take home positive experiences. and it takes the three to tango !

It’s therefore essential that all healthcare providers need to be mentored as to the best practices to be adopted in each individual patient interaction. After all, the basic raison d’etre of the medical profession is to relieve pain and allay anxiety.

In the business of ‘selling’ their better services, technology and infrastructure — and surge ahead of the competition ; healthcare institutions cannot risk getting into the business of selling ‘Fear’.

Some ‘black-sheep’ may have sold their ‘souls’ — like in nearly all professions , but there are the ‘silent’ majority — for whom Medicine is still a passion to practice with the ‘noblest’ of intentions.

Be informed.

I rest my case.