Sunday, October 16, 2016

How Practo is taking doctors for a ride

This is the experience of one Endocrinologist with Practo which is being shared amongst Indian doctors.

Dear Doctors,
Respected Colleagues,

I am Dr Lakshmi Lavanya Alapati, Consultant Endocrinologist, have returned from USA to live in India and practice endocrinology in Hyderabad, started with banner of American Institute of Diabetes and Endocrinology in Madhapur Hitech City area.

Initially Practo.com marketing  urged me to take a membership in their website for marketing purpose which I did so for 6 months and later I refused to do so. I refused because they told me to pay double the amount to market my banner on the top of the list in their search for best endocrinologist in Hyderabad, I did not think that I needed to pay money extra to be on top. I felt he was doing some wrong business by keeping some ridiculous competition between colleagues and doing business among ourselves, so I refused to sign up a renewal of existing contract for extending the marketing services. I clearly Conveyed to him that I no longer am his client and I want my information to be taken out completely from the practo .com website and I do not require any kind of marketing at all through them. Since after that conversation , they continued my name in their website and and also displaying my name in general physician list and not in endocrinologist list, they changed my degrees to only MBBS. So now my patients are calling my staff to find out my degrees and my qualifications and asking if I am a general physician. I think this is wrong and despite calling them, they have not corrected this error. I am informing you all so you can understand how these marketing people jeopardize our proffession and can  be a hinderance to our progress when we don't use their services any more.

Also I want to inform you all that Practo .com people have started a business of selling medications with online buy meds  website , they send medications to patients homes with free delivery and a discounted price, and they take information of our own patients. the information is taken  from those doctor`s practices, for whom practo has given services for the entire services such as  running there consultations and there pharmacy and there electronic medical record. Thank goodness I only used practo for public marketing but not for entire website running  of my clinic, due to my father`s advise. My father being a retired Indian Army Colonel, suggested me that these businesses like practo can steal our patient information and do there own business such as giving information to third party such as to apollo pharmacy or thyrocare or  they may sell medicines as a wholesaler quietly on the backend. This has now become true, as Practo is selling medications  to our clients, we fed them with our information of our clients.

I hope you all understand the problem, it is not just my problem, it can affect all of us. please think with cool mind about this and give me your suggestions. I have practiced in theUSA for 9 yrs and after living in the USA for 14 years , returned to India  and practicing in India from last 4 years. Being fairly new in India, I need your suggestion on how to proceed.
I know that you all are with me! We all spent more time with books and patients all our life than with any thing else, our hearts beat alike.
Regards,
your humble colleague,
Dr Lakshmi Lavanya Alapati,MBBS,FACP,FACE Consultant Endocrinologist American Institute of Diabetes and Endocrinologist Madhapur, Hyderabad






This first-person account clearly shows the dodgy tactics Practo is using to try to grow. 

They claim that they don't allow advertising on their site, but  as this doctor points out, their executives try to get doctors to pay them a fee for being listed on top in their  search results . So much for the " algorithm " which they use to rank doctors !

They are now also abusing patient confidentiality by misusing the patient data they are acquiring from the EMRs and practise management websites which they sell to doctors.

8 comments:

  1. Dear Dr Lavanya

    This is India. Anybody can do what are all they want without having any proper permission from any individual. Local bodies also can never help the sufferers. What the best we could do is, never approach anybody for any type of marketing our goods / services. Police also cannot help us as our agreement with these culprits is not clear on the paper in black and white.

    Just now I checked the Practo.com. Your name is not there in General Physicians list. They might have deleted from the list. Approach / attend to the doctors meetings like IMA and explain to the members about what happened. Also post it repeatedly in Whatsapp, Facebook and etc.

    But be aware of the Practo. Always be alert. They may harm you in any way. Inform the Police and / or register a case with them.

    Thank you
    N Suryanarayana
    Visakhapatnam

    ReplyDelete
  2. Good Morning Mam,

    I saw your blog and gone through with it. To introduce myself, I am Garima working as Product Manager in a leading Pharma Company in Lucknow. Some time back, I saw Practo.com

    Mam my job role is to meet with the Doctor regarding Product and solve their queries. I agree with you now that in India every thing is possible the way may be right or wrong

    You need to take a help and i really appreciate you for the right step. I am sure these things definitely will become inspiration of many people but for a safety purpose you have to be inform local authority who will helping hand for you.


    Thank You and Wishing You Great Day Ahead

    ReplyDelete
  3. Here's another story...
    I searched on Practo and found a "Best Skin Specialist in Delhi". Drove down to this doctor's clinic and to my surprise she was sitting alone in her clinic playing candy crush on her mobile.
    After paying a hefty amount as a consultation fee, I was done in 5 minutes and this doctor was busy again with her candy crush.
    No improvement after medication. Worst experience, decided to inform everyone on practo about this. Left a review (which obviously was not a 5 star remark) and practo never made it online on their website.
    Its all fake, ratings, reviews, everything...

    ReplyDelete
  4. Absolutely right Dr Malpani. I foresee all these problems and hence has never listed my details on paid online sites. I feel they are destroying a healthy doctor Patient relationships for their own business.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Anonymous8:23 PM

    I booked an appointment with a physician. When i rrached there with my friend, he turned out to be my physiotherapist. Wow practo!! And d doc said i am both. Please explain me how is that possible. Better go to big hospitals only. I am not sure why people dont prefer going to hospitals like fortis and apollo

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous12:08 AM

      Hi when you are booking an appointment haven't you seen the name of Doctor or his photo or his qualification.

      Delete
  6. Sindhu10:27 AM

    Hello Dr.Malpani
    You have rightly said,I had a similar experience like you. We should not encourage these kind of Tech aggregators take a ride on doctors.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Similar thing happened with my husband. He is a diabetologist. Practo people approached him for paid subscription, which he flatly refused as it not safe to share patients details online. But later practo people called him saying that ur degree is fake, and so my husband told them that he is filing a case against them,which scared them a bit and they stopped calling him again. But now practo people have started calling up on his appointment number by fake names & fixing an appointment, obviously the patients don't turn up. But thanks to truecaller app, we know who is calling from practo. It's such a pathetic app. Strict action should be taken against such morons who like harassing people for few bucks

    ReplyDelete

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