Should learn to bargain and treat everything as a business
8 years, 3 months ago Posted in: Anecdotes, Blog 1

The discussion about money is treated as taboo in many cultures not limited to Asian, and we are quite uncomfortable talking about money, especially when it is related to Health and Education – the professions we treat as holistic. We tend to avoid asking the fee beforehand in either cases, and expect good service at a reasonable payment.

I had to complete a form on medical test results and vaccination that is required by before registration. Immunity for the following were required either by taking vaccinations or by proving the presence of antibodies through positive test results.

  • Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR)
  • Hepatitis B
  • Tetanus/diphtheria booster
  • Meningococcal
  • Varicella (chicken pox)

I chose to go to a medical center, which I got to know through a friend of mine.  I liked the idea of going to a small place, as it would be less crowded and won’t reek with hospital smell. Also channeling is done by appointments which seemed convenient. The place is also in the suggested list of places for medical check-up for Canadian visa.

The physician, was amiable and nice. Although I had to wait for about 20 minutes on my second appointment, overall the was  pleasant. The physician was attentive and empathetic, and room was clean. I was given two injections (MMR vaccination and Menomune vaccination). Also blood was taken to test for antibodies for Hep B and Varicella. So far so good. I was shocked, only when I saw the bill for 10500 LKR for channelling and vaccination, and another 6000 LKR for blood tests. Interestingly, I had had chicken pox and hence, the test was not required which I attentively mentioned. To exacerbate, when she filled the form the other day she didn’t even bother to take out the test results, and she circled the option that I had already had chicken pox, which of course she could have done without ordering for the test results. Damn-it. I must have protested earlier.

I had to go two days later, so that she would consult the test results and complete the form (I required the signature). The happenings were quite fast, that before I could ask for the price or say no, the injection was ready, and another surprise was waiting when I learnt it was another 8500 LKR from my pocket. For my bad, I had already checked outside, and it is priced at 1500 LKR.

However lesson was learnt, signature on the form and list of vaccinations I had, have been obtained, and I am getting the next doze at a dispensary near by.

PS: Today I learnt Hep B vaccine costs only 50 USD in the which would be about only 60% of what I had paid.

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One Response

  1. Danekka says:

    At ur 2nd attempt to the visit to the hospital, since u had already known the actual price of the vaccine u should have asked the price of the vaccine without blindly letting her lead u to have it.

    She cant say no to tell u the price lucky u had credit/ready cash of 8500 LKR what would be the situation had u not had the required amount?

    so I would always suggest the best way is to check the price of any before attempting it and avoid unnecessary shocks.

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