Medical consultants and strip clubs

Liveline (Friday) had some interesting calls last week regarding the fees charged by medical consultants. Here’s an example.

Margaret noticed some lumps on her arm. Her GP had no idea what they were but charged €55 before referring her to a consultant. The consultant had no idea what the lumps were but charged her €230 before referring her to a surgeon who would be charging €150 just to have a chat. So, €435 and Margaret is none the wiser about the lumps on her arm.

It reminds me of the old strip club scam (I, er, read about this someplace).

The customer arrives at the club and is charged, say, €20 before being led into a small bar where he is encouraged to buy some very expensive drinks. Where’s the action he pipes up? Oh, that’s in the club proper, it’s just an extra €50.

He’s then led into an even bigger bar where the expensive drinks become very, very expensive. By this time the customer is drunk and becoming impatient and very angry. The bouncers arrive, give him a good thrashing, rob his wallet and throw him out the back door.

Yes, I think that’s a pretty accurate description of how certain parts of the Irish health system operates.

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