I was walking by the hospital that is a few steps from where my grandparents live and I was intrigued by what they had displayed outside. There was a big blue sign with all of the prices of the CT scans. For an example, a “Plain CT of the Neck” cost 7500.00 Nepali Rupees. At today’s exchange rate, it would cost $62.42 in US dollars.
The juxtaposition with the US is interesting. There is obviously a price difference, most things cost less in Nepal. (We had breakfast yesteraday at a local haunt in Patan, and it cost us NPR 700, or $USD 6.11 that fed three people!) However, as a physician I have recently had problems getting a direct price quote for my patients from hospitals in the St. Louis area.
I believe in transparency in healthcare. I believe it helps the healthcare practioners and more importantly it helps the patients. In my practice I am transparent about my prices and I am an advocate for my patients when they are seeking prices from specialist and or for procedures I don’t perfom.