Monday, April 13, 2015

Why IVF patients need to speak up and complain when they are unhappy


Most IVF patients tend to be quite docile and meek. Even when they are not happy with the care they are receiving, they usually keep quiet. While they may complain vociferously about the IVF doctor behind his back, few have the courage to speak up and register their displeasure with the IVF clinic directly.


Thus, we hear lots of complaints about other IVF clinics when patients to come to us after a failed IVF cycle elsewhere. And I am sure our patients must be having complaints about the care they have received at Malpani Infertility Clinic when they fail an IVF cycle in our clinic and go elsewhere.


However, complaining about Dr Malpani behind my back is not very helpful - either to me; or to the unhappy patient; or to the other patients who come to us.


If my patient complains to me ( instead of about me, to someone else), then at least I have the opportunity to try to fix the problem. After all, if I don't know what the complaints are, how can I resolve them ? If I can resolve the complaint, the other patients who come to me will not have a chance to complain about the same issue,  and this is a step in the right direction for everyone involved. Yes, it's true that I may ignore the complaint, but at least the patient is no worse off.  She has got a chance to blow off steam, and by giving me chance to address her complaint, she is taking constructive action. You don't need to be aggressive - you just need to be assertive. In fact, complaining can help the unhappy patient as well, because it helps her to vent , instead of bottling up her distress.

The trouble is is that when something goes wrong with medical care, patients are not as likely to complain as they would if we got bad service in a store or restaurant. They may worry that speaking up will undermine their care, offend the doctor and nurses or interrupt the IVF treatment. Many patients may be too angry or too afraid to confront the doctor especially if they are still receiving medical care from him . Others may think, “What difference does it make? The problem has already happened. It’s too late to do anything now.”

However, speaking up and complaining is important because:

    action can still be taken to improve the situation after the fact
    action can prevent the problem from becoming worse
    action can prevent the problem from happening to others

You need to speak up - not just for your sake, but for the sake of other patients as well !

Have complaints about your IVF treatment, and not sure what the problem is ? Please send me your medical details by filling in the form at www.drmalpani.com/free-second-opinion so that I can guide you better !

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