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Free Treatments

Discussion in 'General Issues and Discussion Forum' started by Simon Ross, Nov 24, 2014.

  1. Simon Ross

    Simon Ross Active Member

    Members do not see these Ads. Sign Up.
    Although I did not attend, apparently the accountant at the Bournemouth conference said that he has a problem with free treatments.

    His reasoning, because that treatment has no value (i.e.is free) then that is the value that patients perceive it to be.

    What are others thoughts? Do dentists provide free treatments, do physios? No.

    Or am I wrong?!
  2. Do you pay for sex and if not what value is it to you? More to the point, why would you ever listen to an accountant and why do you always seem to bother what other people are doing? What value do you put on yourself? Remind yourself every day that you don't have to do what other people are doing. Always found that to help. Good luck.
  3. Craig Payne

    Craig Payne Moderator

  4. daisyboi

    daisyboi Active Member

    I often give free treatments for a variety of reasons, and I started doing it because I worked in a multi-disciplinary clinic where everybody did it - physios massage therapists, chiropractors. So, in answer to your question, yes other professions do it. I understand where the accountant is coming from but I don't agree. Andrew Carnegie once said that his biggest mistake as a philanthropist was making libraries free because people didnt value free stuff. I think that is the perception of those who count money every day (like accountants) but I don't think its an accurate reflection. If a patient of mine has had some really rough luck, I might offer their treatment for free on condition that they spend the money they saved on themselves. Sometimes I may do it because I recognise the sacrifices the patient has made to afford my treatment and it's my way of saying that I appreciate their trust in me. I do between 5 - 7% of my treatments for free and I am confident that most people value what they get highly. I have this confidence because the gesture is so often returned in a variety of ways. Those returns cost me nothing but I appreciate them greatly (except the homemade wine - you can keep that!). There is a great book by Bill Esteb called Patientology which I think gives good insight into how patients think about what clinicians do. Anyway, that's my thoughts but you never actually shared yours - it would be good to hear them.


  5. Don't think so - the principles of the Carnegie Trust would choke on their hard-boiled if they read such an allegation. Quite the opposite I would think. That's the problem with the world today - everything has a monetary cost and value; it's an accountant's wet dream and a banker's playground. Both Carnegie and his neighbour down the road in Kirkcaldy, Adam Smith recognised the dangers inherent in the capitalist system and argued for better control of money as a measurement of value. Charging for books and education would run counter to everything they stood for.
  6. daisyboi

    daisyboi Active Member

    Yes, which is why he didn't but it states in Andrew Carnegies Reader that he felt there was a lack of value placed on the libraries he created because the communities gained them with no sacrifice. I will do my best to find the exact quote but he was not advocating charging individuals but wished to find a way to make the resources valued by the community. perhaps, I don't know, this is why local authorities are now charged with maintaining the libraries locally. I don't know if that's correct but I do know that he felt they were not valued as he thought they should be.
  7. Catfoot

    Catfoot Well-Known Member

    I don't understand what circumstances would warrant a free treatment?

    The only time I ever do something like this is a 5 min check-up/redressing for, say, a previously septic lesion. I wouldn't call that a "treatment" per se.

    Maybe the OP can give some more information about this?

  8. Lorcan

    Lorcan Active Member

    I think Dasiyboi is right and its fantastic marketing.
    I also give free appts as a business strategy. I offer on my website free 20mins heel assessments and free 15min nail surgery assessments. In these I tell the patient whats wrong, why and how to resolve it.
    50% of the heel pain patients rebook and spend an average of €400+ and 75% of the nail surgery patients rebook and spend an average of €250.
    Since implementing this and other changes like a Refferral reward scheme for patients my turnover is up 20%. My accountant thinks free appts are a great idea.
  9. Simon Ross

    Simon Ross Active Member


    your comments make excellent sense, it is fantastic marketing thinking about it.

    When I heard a year ago that Halfords were offering free winter car checks, I burst into laughter, not because it was funny. But because it was obvious, Halfords were doing this to try and sell more stuff for cars. The famous loss leader is the most tried and tested business technique................but................it works!
  10. Simon Ross

    Simon Ross Active Member

    Sorry, got your name wrong, I do apologize!
  11. Andrew Ayres

    Andrew Ayres Active Member

    I do the same as Dorcan.

    Last month I put an advert in the paper advertising 15 min free assessment. So far I have seen 5 people for free. 1 had nail surgery the next day, 3 rebooked for a full Biomech assessments and appropriate treatment, and the 5th I sent to a physio.

    I was always against doing free stuff but the success of a £50 advert has swayed me. I will definitely run the same promotion again.
  12. jonnorthants

    jonnorthants Member

    I often remove corns for free for care workers/support workers I come across in care homes. They work long hours for very little money and cannot usually afford to see a chiropodist. I m repaid amply by the extra assistance I get in homes. Care workers have to assist a visiting professional but they can provide a lot more than the minimum if you are nice to them and why not!
  13. blinda

    blinda MVP

    A little humanity goes a long, long way.
  14. Simon Ross

    Simon Ross Active Member

    I had a patient 2 years ago with a foot problem. I knew that this would need treatment more than once a week initially. This poor lady was a very anxious person, who had lost her only son in November 2010 all of a sudden, due to asthma.

    I knew that she would have to get a taxi to get to the NHS pod service, or wait for a long time for the transport clinic. To get a taxi to mine each time would have cost her.

    So, for the ongoing treatment, I did a DOM, all for free. She had good days and bad days in terms of depression, and she was a pain in the neck at times. But, she could not help being a pain in the neck, that is what anxiety/depression can do.

    She was not the most compliant patient either.

    She died a few months later. It is very very very rare that I go to a customer's funeral, but I did hers. The minister said that J had had a miscarriage back in 1969, and had never been the same since. When I got out of that service I thought to myself, thank goodness that I treated her for free. She had had depression for a lot of her life and at least I did my bit to try and lessen that.
  15. Trevor Prior

    Trevor Prior Active Member

    I would have thought the answer is you do what you feel is appropriate for the individual / the circumstances. I have treated people for free:

    because they were friends
    because someone asked me to
    because they could not afford the treatment
    because they had paid me a lot of money and were having difficulty (i.e. with orthoses)
    because their insurance had run out and they had a surgical complication

    I have a diabetic patient at the moment who was seeing me privately whilst I was trying to get NHS care for him. The insurance had run out but he still had his neuroischaemic ulcer and a history of digital amputation. I told him I would see him for free until we could get his care. He told me subsequently that he did not feel it was fair and would pay, so we agreed he would pay for alternate treatments.

    People who volunteer for Christmas (and other times) treat for free, all of us who worked in the Olympic medical centre did it for free.

    I have read Tyson's book and think it is a terrific read. However, there is a time an place for everything. If you feel you wish to offer a free treatment, then do so but do not get caught into it as a regular event and choose your patients wisely. I have got that wrong as well.
  16. I often treat patients for free, often it's because I like the person requiring the treatment, sometimes it's because I'm in a good mood, other times it's because I'm interested, always it's because I can.:santa:

    My nine year old just told me that Father Christmas doesn't exist, I told her that I think he does exist and he always will if we believe in him.

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