When patients don't payCreated by:
Its certain that almost all healthcare professionals have a Messianic complex. The emotional gratification that we get from saving lives is indescribable. But at the end of the day, like everyone else, we need to pay for living expenses. As much as we want to be charitable, we charge for professional fees to earn a living. In the Philippines, financial settlement for healthcare expenses remains largely out-of-pocket. It is not rare to have patients who are unable to pay for professional fees. A lot of hospitals prioritize settlement of hospital bills over professional services to allow release of the patient. In my setting, it is against the law to detain a patient who is unable to pay hospital bills. Hospitals legally arrange this problem by obtaining a collateral or a promissory note for settlement of hospital bills. Doctors are notified if the clients are unable to pay. Doctor's secretaries or representative make arrangements with the patients and their relatives. However, this becomes problematic when patients no longer follow up/settle financially. How often do you encounter these kinds of patients and how do you deal with this problem?