Hospital's 'fine' tonic for careless patients: Dh50 charge for missing appointment

Patient who does not keep a scheduled appointment and does not cancel seen as costing the hospital loss in revenue

A hospital in Dubai has introduced a fine of Dh50 for patients who fail to cancel their scheduled appointments.

The hospital, in Jebel Ali, has taken to imposing the fine on “careless” patients and for its part, does its best to remind patients of their appointments including sending SMSes asking for reconfirmations.

“We call, send SMS to the patient to reconfirm their appointment. They can call us even three to four hours before the scheduled time to cancel so they aren’t fined,” an employee at hospital told Emirates 24|7.

“The patient will have to pay a fine of Dh50 when he/she visits the hospital next time. There are lots of people who call to seek an appointment, but we cannot give them any slot, as all the slots are pre-booked.

“If we are aware that people aren’t coming, then we can accommodate those who call us later,” the hospital informed this website.

A patient who does not keep a scheduled appointment is seen as costing the hospital a loss in revenue, since other patients on the waiting list cannot be accommodated in time.

John Taylor, a resident of The Gardens, says: “It’s a good move. I am in favour of this fine as people, who take appointment and don’t show up at the scheduled time, need to understand that their attitude is unacceptable.”

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