Tuesday, February 23, 2021

The problem with satellite IVF clinics and travelling IVF doctors



 Many IVF clinics have setup branches known as satellite clinics in different cities , in order to take advantage of the fact that they have an established brand name . Of course, the fact that they get this brand name because they spend so much money on advertising , and by giving kickbacks for referrals is something which most patients are blissfully unaware about.

 They need to increase the volume of work they do and maximize the number of IVF cycles they perform, because they need a return on investment on their advertising budget , and they need to increase the amount of money they give as kickback because competition in the IVF field is getting increasingly intense , as local IVF clinics start competing with out of town IVF specialist.

 The attraction of these satellite clinics is this “ brand name “ , famous IVF doctor from a large city like Mumbai is going to travel all the way to your town in order to treat you.

Because the doctor has bought a brand name , a lot of patients get tempted into taking treatment, because it’s so much cheaper than having to travel to Mumbai to take treatment from him.

 The tragedy is they don’t realise they are getting short-change . IVF treatment requires close monitoring and careful attention, so it can be tweaked to optimize your ovarian response. When doctors try to this remotely, it’s can’t be done efficiently and effectively , and these satellite clinics are forced to take shortcuts , because they want to maximize their quantity – not their quality.

These brand name doctors depend on assistants and juniors , who more often than not don't have any idea about what's happening , because they just follow the cook-book protocols laid down by the senior doctor.

 This is why the poor patients who pay an arm and a leg for the privilege of being treated by the famous doctor never actually see him – because he is too busy treating patients in his other satellite clinics . His job is done by a locum or another junior, and patients naturally feel cheated when this happens, but because they have paid all their treatment fees, they are helpless, and can’t do anything about this.

Unless patients become more assertive , and start demanding more personalized and customised care because they are paying so much money for this, this sad state of affairs is going to continue, because IVF doctors know they can get away with it .

Their incentive is to maximize their profits by doing the largest number of cycles , rather than try to help each individual patient get pregnant .

This misalignment of incentives is one of the reasons why IVF care in India leaves so much to be desired.

If you want personalised attention from an expert, experienced IVF specialist, then come to Malpani IVF Clinic . We don't employ any assistants, and Dr Anjali and I take care of you personally ourselves 

 

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