Wed, Oct 5, 2016
Paying medical doctors per patient treated is poised to cause more health challenges.
When the so-called learned and or educated section of humanity starts coming up with derailing and poignant ideas in the name of policy making, in the 21st century, then you know that we have reached the climax of intellectual insanity, among the human race.
I comfortably conclude so, because when I was taking an evening street-walk, in the Ugandan capital, Kampala, after my day’s work, I saw a newspaper headline that read: Medics to be paid per patient treated.
The bold headline immediately triggered entrepreneurial impulses and competition memories, down my spine and mind respectively. Ha-ha!
Only that, this time around, the impulses were triggered by an outlandish phenomenon woven in a newspaper headline.
“How can doctors start competing for the sick?”, I wondered. “Is the economy so bad that even doctors have to start getting their salary per patient treated?” I further wondered.
After my contemplative encounter with the poignant headline, I later realized that, these are some of the ironies of the modern life man has created. Even coffin makers, compete for the dead!
Do these seemingly inescapable ironies of life, mean that I agreed with the posited agenda in the derailing headline? No!
I would comfortably get along with an idea like putting up a formidable and independent inspectorate mechanism to make sure that the huge budget sum allocated to the Ministry of Health does its purpose, in this case, handsomely paying medical doctors.
Such an outlandish idea to pay doctors per patient treated, will not only put the lives of many at risk but also profoundly and dangerously skew a would-be health service towards the money-making paradigm.
This unprecedented battle between service delivery and money-making, especially in our hospitals, is poised to cause a health pandemic because it looks like the money-making attitude is winning.
Incentives, have an intrinsic potential to derail whoever is pursuing a given task, from pursuing the task to pursuing the incentive.
I suggest that: Life First, Then Salary Fast!
I know, and agree that it’s not going to be easy to serve first, then make money second in this economy, given the way wealth and money are skewed towards the few self-aggrandized individuals, but neither will it be easy when our health is at severe risk.
So, let’s wisely choose what we are going to sacrifice. Health or Wealth? I further suggest that, let’s use our God-given ingenuity to harmonize the two.
Edrine Habasa is an autodidact bridge engineer, dialectician and knowledge enthusiast. He's also a debunker of falsehoods as he champions the truth.