Aug 20, 2021

Expense or Investment?

 A few days back, K and I went for our weekly fruits and vegetable shopping. The bill is usually around Rs.1000. It has increased slightly in the past few weeks, given that more people are at home, but this is the average amount we incur every week. 

Anyway, this post got triggered by two comments. 

"You are buying too many fruits and vegetables for a week", a casual comment by a loved one.

"Junk food is so cheap but fruits, vegetables, cold pressed oils and millets cost yaanai vilai", a comment from a dear reader.

This is how I see it - "choose quality ingredients and invest towards your health NOW" or "save money by buying cheap, junk food and pay with a hefty interest towards medical expenses LATER".

Having spent the last 3 months with multiple hospital visits for Appa, I got to experience the sheer magnitude of medical expenses, running in lakhs. To give you a rough idea,

Doctor consultation - Rs.900 . This is for outpatients. If the same doctor steps into your room if you get admitted (for an inpatient consultation), it is Rs.1100.

CT Scan - ranges from Rs.10000 - Rs.16000

Blood tests - ranges from Rs.1000 - Rs.6000

Admission Charges - Rs.10,000 per room per night (non-sharing), Rs.5000 per room per night (twin sharing)

Nursing charges and Doctor Visit charges proportionately increase depending on the room type you choose. 

Adult diapers cost around Rs.600-700 per pack of 10 in Amazon, whereas the hospital charges Rs.700 per diaper.

All medical supplies used by nurses and doctors are charged to the patient's bill - right from disposable syringes, gloves, swabs, face masks etc. These add up to a sizeable amount if the stay is for 3-4 days.

A pack of protein drink that is given through a food pipe (for patients who are not able to eat/drink) costs Rs.1310 per kg. Lasts for 3-4 days, depending on the frequency of the feeds.

We had to go to a multispecialty hospital, given the health situation as well as the prevailing pandemic. So the costs might be on the higher side. The place of living matters too. These ranges will be similar in cities like Bangalore, Mumbai, Chennai, etc. They may be slightly lower in tier 2 cities.

The intention of this post is not to spread fear but to share the current reality of the costs that we are expected to incur in hospital/medical bills.

Apart from financial stress, medical conditions pose a lot of physical, mental, and emotional stress both for the patient as well as for their family members. 

Let's take charge of our health right NOW. Let's make the right investments towards it NOW. 

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