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Medical professionals vs other: Greedy?


Medical Prof vs other vocations  

27 members have voted

  1. 1. Medical professionals charge way too much compared to other (plumbers/lawyers etc)

    • Yes, they rip us off!!!
    • No, they charge for their knowledge and responsibilities assossiated with the job
    • A plumber/lawyer charges much more per hour, and he doesn't even have to do the job himself!
    • The market allows the fees paid, and its fair to charge for the services
  2. 2. Who are the most expensive, if converted to a per hour rate (please think about this before answering)

    • My general practitioner (Doctor) for time spent
    • My specialist (Peadiatrician, Gynea, etc) for time spent
    • My psychologist for time spent
    • My lawyer
    • My accountant
    • The plumber
    • The electritian
  3. 3. Who earns the most money? Select more than one if needed

    • Doctors
    • Specialists
    • Lawyers
    • Accountants
    • IT professionals
    • Building Contractors
    • Other?
  4. 4. Would you rather have state facilities running all services (medical, electrical, legal,etc etc) if it were very cheap or free?

    • Yes!!!
    • No, I'll rather pay for service that someone is mostly proud of and good at
    • What do I care?
  5. 5. Are all medical professionals greedy profit chasers or is that the way of business and society?

    • Yes, they need to be chased into the sea. No-one else make nearly as much money!
    • No, they are keeping with our drive to be successful, exactly like me, I'm their role model!
    • Its a "grudge expense", so I hate them, even if I make more than most of them per month...
    • I can't afford medical help, so its difficult not to think they are greedy.

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Hi, I tought this would be interesting because someone made the statement about greedy profit chasing medical personel on another post (or thats my interpretation) and as I must be one of them (don't know about the profits or being greedy), I feel this might be interesting. I get involved in these discussions quite often, so I would like to hear some views!

For the record, I am a health professional and have studied 7 years, and take on enourmous amounts of responsibility, with constant legal threat if I screw up, but I am always being told that "we" are greedy, by people that earn waaaaayyyyyy more... Also keep in mind, I have no leave pay, no bonus, no sick leave and no clients over December and most of January...

My high school buddies, 28 years old and earning 7 times what I do, is in IT and works for ABSA, the other is a CA and he does around 5 times my income per month. Needles to say, my car is 12 years old, while combined they have 7 properties already, driving Golf GTI's and Audi S4's! As my profession limits me to private practice (if I want to put food on the table and pay for the visa, and give desent service to my clients), I will earn double when I arrive in Aus, and even there I will be earning what the statistically call an average salary for Aus.

What do you think! Are we really that bad? I hear it week after week, but it's interesting conversation!


Edited by Maloui
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I have a problem with your last question as all of the selections are negative in some way. The Doctors I've used have spent time making sure they are thorough, so I have never felt ripped off. I suppose it's all a question of achievement. it's not a profession that all of us can get into, then the amount of time they study, the responsibility.

I think that people who make policy decisions in companies like Shell Oil that affect the world and then boast profits of 14 billion need to be singled out as a rip off.


Edited by Just B
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I have to say, being in the medical field, that doctors do charge a lot...but taking into consideration the amount of knowledge, skill and responsibilty that is involved, mostly it is well spent money. There are, obviously, some that just blatantly rip us off; I recently had a consultation with a specialist...the 45min consult and a script set me back R1126...of which my medical aid covered R180!!!!! If you ask me, the ones making the most from our health problems are the Medical "Aids".....

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Hi, Just B, I agree about the last question, but it is very negative to have to defend your way of working to guys making lots more than you. My wife paid R450 for a 10 minute consult the other day, so yes, it's expensive. (wish I could ask that!) But these consults saves lives daily.

Medical aids, good and bad. Bad if you need payment from them or you pay the high premiums, good if you are in hospital for weeks and they cover what is wrong with you (or like the birth of my child cost me my monthly premiums, thats it, accounts camt to around R35 000) ... All good when you need it, money well spent, but we also complain when we don't use it regularly... Its difficult to call...

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My 2c worth:

I'm surprised with the results, thought accountants/auditors have the highest hourly rate :lol:

Not that I disagree with their charging, most of these professionals labelled as 'greedy' have studied at least 6 years. Think about it, to become a specialist (paed, gynae ect) you need to study a further 5 years after completeing a 6 year degree!! I think they deserve they money they earn and the same goes for accountants, laywers ect!!


Edited by pingz
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I think medical aid will always be a grudge purchase for most of us.... Myself included.

I don't resent paying a doctor for his specialist knowledge or intervensions.

It's just strange to me that some will charge you medical aid rates/ some a little bit more/ and for some the sky is the limit.

Recently a collegue of mines father in law had a coronary artery bypass. He was in theatre for 4 hours (pretty standard for heart bypass surgery), spend 3 days in ICU and high care together, discharged after 8 days and then had a follow up visit.

All went well.

the bill for about 7 hours work - a mere R84000. (about R12000 per hour), medical aid tariff for these codes R24000.

another collague had a back op (fusion of vertebrae with instrumentation on 2 levels) dr's bill R36000 - medical aid tariffs R9000.

but in my opinion all doctors are not like that.

I had an emergency c.section on a Sunday - my gynae bill , incl his assistant and the follow up visits R4800- we paid and got 15% discount and I think the short fall between medical aid rates was about R800

The anaethetist on the other hand - billed R3100, also got a 15% discount, short fall of R1400 . this for 45 min in theatre. he didn't ask me any questions for a pre op consultation but still billed R350. He punctured my arm 3 times before he could get a drip running. But also you can't have an op without an anaethetist.

In the good old days - there were the BHF (medical aid rates) and then SAMA (the medical association of SA) had "ethical rates". this worked well because there was a ceiling. Then our dear friend, who is now the minister in the presidency , said it's a form of price fixing....

I really hope ms B Hogan can make a difference in this circus that we have now.

And I really pray that we can get out of here.


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The problem with not paying doctors good salaries is that if you don’t they just pack their bags for better pay somewhere else, or nobody bothers becoming one. Why would you study all those years and take on the responsibility for average pay. It’s like any job, the more your worth the more you earn.

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Some professional assossiations recommend more than 3 times the fees of that specified by the BHF! Problem is also the BHF listen to the wrong source when they fix their prices, and don't take the big picture into account. In most cases research haven't been done to accurately determine what a "desent" price for services should be, I think thats why the different charges. Even Discovery sometimes pay more than the BHF recommend, and other Medical aids don't...

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The thread starts off by comparing a doctor to friends in IT, a CA, etc. These are NOT your normal salary earners, so I think the comparison is a bit skewed. Also, if you live in Gauteng that is the kind of salaries some people do earn. However, the normal average person does not earn that much money and we still have the same needs (food, cars, housing, good schooling for our kids, etc). I studied for 11 years and have 4 degrees, and I earn way less. Sure, I may have less responsibility.

I also don't get a bonus, nor paid leave, it is not common only to the medical profession where people work for themselves, it is true for a lot of other people too.

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Hi Maloui,

My hubby is also in the medical field, he is specializing in anesthetics.

I totally understand your pain, of all our friends, he works the hardest, and probably earns the least. I’m in IT and also earn more than he does currently.

He’ll only be finished in 3 and a half years time, by then he’ll be 31 :ilikeit: Until then he’ll continue to have a very limited social life due to all the studying and nearly always being on call on weekends.

Sometimes it feels like you’re being left behind financially, our friends get to buy new schmancy cars and houses, while he has to make due with a lousy salary from the state.

Many of the people who studied with him decided not to specialize, they are now working as GPs in private and making good livings, buying homes and starting families. He has to wait another 3 ½ years before he can do that!

For a couple of days, while he was waiting for a Reg post, he seriously considered giving up and rather going into private as a GP, it just didn’t seem worth the effort.

Doctors see so much sadness and pain, especially in our public sector. The rest of us don’t have to face the harsh reality of death and sickness on a daily basis, it takes a very special kind of person to deal with it.

When he finishes and finally goes into private, the long wait, compromises he’s made, and all the stress he endures better be worth it financially. Who will go through all this for an average salary in the end?

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I don't have a problem with the fees that are charged but I do have an issue with medical professionals that rush you in & out of a consultation in almost under 10 mins flat. You leave feeling that you have not been given the care you pay for & in a lot of cases not diagnosed properly. I don't mind paying for a good service

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Remember that the vast majority of patients do not earn WAY MORE than the specialists and doctors treating them. Whatever happened to the Hippocratic oath where docs promise to take into account the ability of patients to pay, I know some do and are not a rip off but many are content to milk patients for a ten minute consultation.

We spend almost as much on medical aid contributions a month as we do on food and that is just a basic hospital plan with savings account. We dare not have no medical aid because the private docs and hospitals will not attend to you if you have no medical aid and can't make a big credit card deposit at the emergency room. I think it is shocking the profits that are being made by the private healthcare industry in SA. But having said this there are some who are decent.

I do not think it is right to justify excessive charges by saying that you did your time in the public health system and years of studying because at the end of the day what was your motivation for entering the profession? Just a question not a judgement but I think many people who earn big salaries do not have a clue how people who have to support a family on less than R10 000 a month actually battle. Wealth and poverty is all relative, shame for people who can't buy fancy cars, what about patients who can't afford any car or drive in cars that they can hardly afford to maintain because the public transport is non-existent? Why must these poor patients pay excessive doctors' fees so that the doc can buy luxury vehicles and other goods?

It is the so-called free market profiteering which makes me lean towards a marxist view because in essence it is the poor who through being being ripped off are subsidising the lavish lifestyles of the rich. Remember it is the wealthy minority in the world who live off most of its resources.

I have been on both sides of the fence, earned well and also, on the lesser scale so I know how easy it is when things are good financially to forget what it was like to battle and to have to count every penny to make sure that there will be bread on the table for the entire month.

I don't say this to judge anyone but just some food for thought. I hope no-one is offended.

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