Cutting Healthcare Costs Without Cutting Corners (Part 4) – Choosing When to be Hospitalised

hospital-costsIf you have to be admitted to a hospital, try and avoid going in on a weekend. Yes, I know, if its an emergency, fair enough, you have to get in. You can’t choose your dates when you get sick and when that happens,you need to be hospitalised straightaway.  But, in the case of when you have a choice of when to get into hospital (such as for an elective surgery or for an extensive checkup), it would be wise to plan ahead and choose a weekday.

Why? For several reasons:

  1. Many hospitals cut off what is deemed as ‘non-essential services’ for the weekend. You will not find a dietician or full physiotherapy services on a weekend. This means waiting for Monday before anything happens.
  2. Many specialists take off for the weekend (doctors are human,too), leaving just a specialist on call who may not be the person you are looking for. Sometimes, the appropriate specialist may not be available and the patient may end up being seen by a specialist who may not be a subspecialist in the desired field.
  3. It may sound unfair, but the majority of private hospitals levy an overtime surcharge for lab tests, imaging studies or usage of operation theatres if these are utilised on weekends. Even though you did not choose  to get sick on a weekend, you may be surcharged up to 50% over and above the usual rates.
  4. The support staff, like nurses and technicians, are usually kept to a bare minimum on weekends to reduce overheads and sometimes, on a busy day with lots of emergencies, optimum care may not always be available.

See other postings on cutting healthcare costs:

Buy generic

Take health insurance

Seek treatment at lower cost centres

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