Now that IVF technology has become mature, one would expect that most IVF clinics would follow standard operating procedures and provide high-quality services to their patients. After all, doctors are meant to be ethical professionals who follow recommended medical practice guidelines. Patients expect to be able to trust their doctors, which is why a lot of them naively believe that all IVF clinics are created equal . Many will happily go to whichever clinic happens to be nearest to them , or the one which offers the best price. This is one of the reasons why bad IVF clinics continue to flourish.
Sadly, there' still isn't enough regulation or governmental oversight, and the medical profession refuses to police itself, which means that patients are pretty much at the mercy of the doctors' conscience. If they happen to end up in the hands of a bad IVF doctor, then no one can save them.
It's very easy for bad IVF clinics to take advantage of patients' ignorance. For one thing, patients in India aren't used to asking their doctors questions. Doctors are treated as Gods, which is why it's very easy for them to bully their patients. Bad IVF clinics use a lot of misleading techniques to trap patients. For example, they will advertise in newspapers , and quote extremely low rates in order to get patients to sign up for the treatment. Once the patient has done so, they keep on progressively increasing their charges, and once the IVF cycle has started , she can't possibly back out, which means she is stuck. Others will organise mass free medical camps for infertile couples, and use this as a source of patient acquisition, under the garb of providing a community service.
It's easy for them to get patients pregnant, by doing IVF for young infertile women who never needed IVF in the first place, and could have got pregnant with simpler treatment options. This allows them to tom-tom their successes. For the other patients, they will often use donor eggs and donor embryos, without the patient's consent, to boost their pregnancy rates.
Lots of these underhand practices are extremely prevalent in Indian IVF clinics, and the worst thing is that even the good doctors are a party in allowing these to flourish. While they don't indulge in these underhand tactics themselves, they keep quiet about them, and thus allow the bad doctors to get away with their dirty schemes.
Because IVF doctors indulge in a conspiracy of silence, out of misguided professional courtesy , all IVF clinics end up being tarred with the same brush because of the antics of a few bad doctors. Patients who have been cheated by one bad IVF doctor lose confidence in all IVF doctors because they've had a bad experience. Good IVF doctors can't afford to keep quiet about this - we need to speak up in order to protect our patients !
The problem is that it's very easy to fool some of the people some of the time, especially in a field like IVF, where there are no guarantees. When the cycle fails, the patient doesn't know what the reason for the failure was. Was it because the clinic was incompetent, or was it just plain bad luck ?
It's easy for bad IVF doctors to bamboozle their patients, by blaming the IVF failure of poor quality eggs or bad sperm ! They preying on their patient's ignorance and take them for a ride. Sadly, patients are often not sophisticated enough to be able to determine the technical quality of the treatment they receive. Many blindly assume that all doctors are technically competent, and patients don’t expect to get robbed at the doctor’s office !
However, thanks to the internet, patients are becoming smarter, because they can start sharing their personal experience at various IVF clinics. It's interesting that IVF patients trust other patients more than they trust IVF doctors ! This kind of information sharing and openness will help them to separate the good clinics from the bad clinics.
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