Recently, in my hospital, the echo machine whose new model costs about Rs. 30-40 lakhs, needed a service. The machine was insured but not in service contract with the company.

The company representative did not come for a week and when I called them up, they said that they will not come to look at the machine unless they are paid Rs. 15,000 per visit charges. They said that our hospital is paying only Rs. 5000  per visit to them.

They further said that they are not a TV and radio repairman, their visiting charges are no less than Rs. 15,000 and these visit charges do not include any consumables.

It means that for a machine costing Rs. 30-40 lakhs, people are ready to pay Rs. 15,000 for their visit charges.

In one of my class, I asked one of my patients who owned a car worth Rs. 16 lakhs as to how much he is paying for insurance and service. He said that he was paying Rs. 30,000 for the insurance and Rs. 40,000 per annum for four servicing of the car.  That means, for car worth Rs. 16 lakhs, he was spending Rs. 70,000 (Rs. 6,000 per month) for its maintenance and insurance and when I asked him as to how much he was paying for his personal body insurance and service, he said only 14,000 for insurance and nothing for the AMC (tests).

We are ready to pay Rs. 15,000 to a technology mechanic or Rs. 70,000 for a car costing only Rs. 16 lakhs but we do not want to pay for our adequate insurance or for the maintenance of our machine on a period basis.

Suppose a doctor visits a house and asks for Rs. 15,000 fee, our answer will be “I am shocked and doctor is a cheat or greedy.”

Let us rise and take messages from this and keep some budget for our insurance and body servicing on a regular basis.