There once was a time on this island when doctors did not drive BMW and Mercedes autos. There was a time when a doctor would go about his visits and stay for a meal, and perhaps receive nothing more than a meal because that was all there was. Several weeks later maybe a kingfish would be delivered to the doctor’s home and gratefully received because the doctor, like everyone, was struggling too. At Christmas time especially people would drop off what they could, and if a doctor’s son needed a better job, there was likely one to be found. If a tyre puncture needed attention as likely as not the doctor would return to the garage to find that someone had already taken care of the bill.
Those days are gone, but the gift giving has not gone. If anything the ‘gift giving’ between doctors and their patients has ramped up to impressive levels both in frequency and in the value of the
bribes er, ‘gifts’ received by the doctors.
Why has this happened? Is it because the patients and citizens value the doctors and freely supplement the doctors’ salaries out of respect and thanks?
Perhaps…. but where do we divide the grateful gift givers from the subtle pressures by doctors that they could arrange that test a little earlier ‘if only the radiologist would be reasonable’ ???
We know how things work ’bout hey, and so does the Barbados Association of Medical Practitioners. That’s why the BAMP wants to address this ‘gift giving’ topic as soon as possible – because they say it has the potential to undermine the system with fraud and bribery.
The docs are right. Now, if we could only convince the politicians to do the same!
Please read the article Docs playing dirty at Barbados Today Online, but if it’s not there, we’ll have it here…
Docs playing dirty
by Emmanuel Joseph
The unregulated practice of gift-giving between doctors and patients in Barbados is creating fears of possible fraud and bribery in the minds of the hierarchy of the local medical representative body. Continue reading