In a response to the Popular post “ How Practo is ruining your health” which is being circulated across all social media platform, Practo has released a blog Stating all information on internet being circulated are misleading and rumors. Here is the link to their response https://blog.practo.com/practos-response-to-false-and-misleading-internet-rumours/
This is a followup post in response to Practo’s Blog.
Disclamer: I am a Plastic surgeon who has used all features of Practo since inception. Have seen how the products and features of Practo has evolved over time. These are just examples of few discrepancies which we have found and what Practo claims.
Data is secure
Data is not limited to Patient records. It’s also related to what patient searches on the app, the conversations what he has with clinic or the doctor. The calls that a patient makes to clinic or doctor are recorded on the platform, which we also got to know later on, after an executive showed us which they too have access. Why a conversation between a Patient and doctor would need to be recorded? As usual the answer is “It’s for company internal compliance requirement.” Oops!! Did Practo just charge Rs350 for a missed call?
Practo Claims “We go to great lengths to ensure all information available on our platform is not just accurate and verified but also free. We work with authorities to verify all credentials and ensure only genuine doctors are available on Practo.”
There is only one authority In India which can decide which degrees are valid, what treatments or procedures can be performed by particular specialization. And that is Medical council of India (MCI) under union Department of Health and Family welfare. Here are few Practo profiles where we see no correlation between what degree they hold or not hold and what they claim or practice. A clinic listed under Dermatology clinic has an aroma therapist and Practo mentions her as a Doctor. I fail to understand when aroma therapy became a course in Medicine. Similarly a homeopath doing some random courses which are not even recognized by MCI claim to be dermatologist.
Lets Come to the treatment offering on Practo. There have been few cases of death which were reported in Media after Hair transplant done by non qualified professionals. Associations are working hard towards regulating who can perform what procedure and forming guidelines to increase patient safety. Listing on Practo are no where conforming to industry standards and funny part is that they have 100% positive Feedback. Isn’t it the platform’s responsibility to verify with government officials or with doctor associations regarding procedures and who should and should not be listed under certain procedures ?
Practo claims “We, along with our doctor partners take patients’ health very seriously, and hence, verification is extremely crucial to our commitment of enabling quality healthcare access to patients. We built a patient feedback system to bridge the doctor-patient trust gap by providing verified, genuine patient feedbacks. This goes a long way in building that initial trust with new patients – a trust that then extends into a long term relationship.”
Practo has a biased feedback system where only people using Practo products have higher feedback and rating and there is also a stringent system in place to remove negative comments and feedback. A Homeopathy doctor claiming to be dermatologist gets flooded with feedback and positive reviews but a Real Dermatologist with over 30 yrs experience have poor ratings and minimal feedbacks. Yes that’s the real commitment from Practo read “We are committed to helping our patients at all the key touch points in their healthcare journey – from finding the right doctors, booking an appointment, and finally ordering medicines and tests online.”
Finding the Right Doctor
Practo Claims “We are committed to helping our patients at all the key touch points in their healthcare journey – from finding the right doctors, booking an appointment, and finally ordering medicines and tests online.”
Lets test how they perform on searches for procedures. Liposuction is a procedure performed by plastic surgeons to contour the body and remove excess fat. Bariatric surgery is a procedure to reduce the stomach size and help patient reduce weight. Tummy tuck is a procedure where post pregnancy muscle laxity is corrected and excess skin removed. Oops!! Practo platform seems to be broken! It’s showing a Urologist (A doctor who deals with Urinary tract and kidney) from one particular hospital as top results in all search terms. Or is it that the Practo Expert knows it better?
This is Spooky. Lets try it once more in a particular location. Here we go “ Liposuction in Indiranagar Bangalore“ And the results show 3 matches and the Practo Expert is also there to assist me choose the hospital. Oh there seems to be some glitch as I know liposuction is performed by plastic surgeons and there are many plastic surgeons in Indiranagar that I am aware of who are offering the service and in fact have taken Prime facility of Practo at a fee or in Practo terms “While most of our platform features come at no cost to the provider or the patient, any provider partner wanting to provide a superior experience to their patients by leveraging our reliable 24×7 instant booking solution, can purchase our Prime product at a fee.”
Am I Missing something here? Practo have started to neglect the people who are their prime partners as well in favor of few sponsored corporate clients.
I think I should stop searching anything on Practo as they have lost their credibility. If Practo is really interested in keeping up their claims then they have a lot of work cleaning up their platform and fixing the glitches.
And I would repeat the same How to chose a Right doctor among all these Marketing Gimmicks.
How to choose a good doctor
- Search for Doctors of a particular branch on Google for clinics and hospitals nearby.
- Pick a clinic nearby, know about the doctor’s qualification, MBBS, MD,MS, Diplomas, DM and Mch are recognized degrees in allopathy. Someone with Just fellowships in front of their name with no recognized degree are red flag signs.
- You have every right to ask for the qualification of doctor and even show certificates when asked. Few quacks may just put degrees but refuse to show certificates.
- A Doctor who sees 100 patients a day is a red flag sign. A good doctor would spend enough time listening and explaining you about your condition.
- A Good doctor advises you and allows you to make your choices not impose treatment upon you.
- A good doctor will give you a balanced advice and explain both the pros and cons of a treatment or surgery and give you freedom to make decision. Someone who uses fear tactics and forces you to choose a treatment is a red flag sign.
- A good doctor will encourage you to take second opinion of another doctor when you are in doubt.
- Talk to friends, relatives and previous patient about their experience with doctor and not blindly believe the reviews online.