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Tehelka: Where? in Safdarjang?
Anand: The chemist shops outside. At my place, there is a Rohtak medical college. Every year, truckloads of medicine go out of it. mrs leave behind so many medicines. The same is the fate of our reminders.
Mani: Did you not see that doctor’s (Inaudible) cupboard? Filled to the brims with medicines… (Inaudible)
Anand: More than half the stocks are expired.
Tehelka: And these are then supplied to the poor, illiterate patient.
Anand: Had our mri business been clean, it would have felt really good to be a part of. After the three new centers are opened, I am sure the price of mri would be stabilised. If anyone has to sink, all of us will have to sink together.
Mani: But then, we won’t have any work left. The doctors will stop prescribing mris. Most of the cases are those who do not require the test.
Anand: In any case, believe me, this is going to happen in the near future, as soon as the new centers come up. The government will give out money to the hospitals to buy their own mri machines; and they are going to charge a legitimate 3,000 rupees.
Anand: See, we can manage 40 needy patients if there are another 60 coming to our centre, willing to pay the full amount. This ratio evens out things. Plus, more people are opting for mris than X-Rays or Ultrasounds. Thus, our business is increasing. If the price were made constant, then there would be no hassles and no fights.
Tehelka: Even then, doctors will find some way out to make an extra buck.
Anand: Don’t you realise, as of today, aiims is carrying out mri for Rs 2,700.
Mani: It’s 3,200.
Tehelka: That day, he was also explaining long tales of liquor.
Mani: It’s fine till the point of liquor. We, too, are entertained.
Anand: When I was a medical representative, I used to treat srs (senior residents) to liquor on my own.
My dad was in the air force; so, I used to get liquor
at low prices. I would take a bottle of rc and go to their room. Once in a month, or maximum twice.
I would get dinner from somewhere nearby. One doctor became so friendly that he even came to
my wedding.
Anand: I will tell you one trade secret today. 80 per cent of the business could be obtained from 20 per cent of the doctors. And 20 per cent of the business could be gained from the rest of the 80 per cent of the doctors. Even if you know five doctors, they would do your work for you.
Mani: But there is some difference between medicines and mri tests. To prescribe a medicine, you do not have to take anybody’s permission. But for mris, you have to ask for the consultant’s permission… (Inaudible) These consultants alone can prescribe
an mri.
Tehelka: Achha, what were you saying the other day that aiims is private; that their doctors can prescribe mris openly, while, Safdarjang doctors cannot.
Anand: aiims is semi-private. Haven’t you seen that even for medicines, Safdarjang doctors have to tear out a dozen slips?
Tehelka: I am all ready to take out doctors, Bhai. What is the problem?
Anand: Doctors have become cunning. They don’t let you come near just like that. And this is the art of salesmanship. How you fix up a fat doctor.
Mani: Should I tell you how to fix up a fat doctor? Are you aware of junior doctors – jrs; fix them up first. It’s easy because they are of the same age. Take them out for a movie or drink out with them. They know their department inside out. He will introduce you to his senior colleagues. You have to climb the stairs one step at a time.


August 28, 2004

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