Sun | Sep 19, 2021

Letter of the Day | Have doctors joined the Jamaican hustle?

Published:Wednesday | March 3, 2021 | 12:18 AM


I have often heard of the plight of the less fortunate as they endure the long wait at public hospitals to see doctors.

However, it has now become the new normal for similar wait times at private doctors.

My recent experience with two specialists, or consultants, has compelled me to call out this unprofessional practice, which has become all too prevalent. Or, is it just that doctors have also joined in on the ‘Jamaican hustle’?

Visit any private doctor’s office and you will see scores of patients sitting, albeit in air condition and on softer chairs than the hard benches at the public hospitals. I have a few questions for the hustlers within this noble profession:

1. Is the idea behind giving the exact appointment time to two or three patients to maximise returns, or add a level of guarantee in case one patient doesn’t turn up?

2. What’s the rational for booking appointments half an hour to one hour prior to the doctor’s end of shift at another hospital?

3. Is it ethical to conduct examinations at the speed of ‘robot’ taxi and then schedule follow-up visits to do what should have been done in the initial consultation?

4. We chastise the ‘robot’ taxi drivers when they pack the cab beyond the legal limit, speed on the road to guarantee an extra trip, and call them hustlers.

On a matter of principle, I refused to accept this unprofessional behaviour.

I am a professional, as the doctors are, and demand to be treated as such. Punctuality and integrity are hallmarks of professionalism.