How Much PF is Right?

professional fees

Harry Beckwith  in his book  Selling the Invisible  tells about  a carpenter who was called in for a house call.  The house owner could not figure  out where the creaking sound on his floor was coming from. The carpenter walked around the room . Then he started to hammer at a certain area.

Suddenly the creaking noise was gone! So how much do I owe you for this? the house  owner asked.


What? Such price for just hammering my floor! That’s outrageous!  The  carpenter calmly responded,

I am not charging you for hammering the floor. I am charging you for knowing where to hammer.


The issue of charging  patients for our services is a very difficult  and delicate matter to discuss.

Most often because there are really no written guidelines.

Another reason is the numerous factors to consider in setting it.

So how much is just right?


 Dr. Guia Tan,  a consultant in our hospital gave us a very insightful way of  approaching  this delicate issue of professional fees. Here are some excerpts from her talk  .

First the facts.

Most of  us  are on a fee for service structure (we are paid for every service we render or patient we see).

We earn a living through the fees we receive.

We have an obligation to ourselves and those who depend on us.


 But we also  have an obligation  to society.

We have an obligation to preserve the standing of the profession but we are expected to regulate ourselves.

This issue about fees requires  perspective, sometimes differing perspectives.

For some patients, high fees  may mean that they are  esteemed and are actually proud to be paying much.

Others do not mind the fees at all as long as they feel it is worth it.

It is also important to consider who actually “provide”  the resources. For the uninsured, others may provide the resources. Or the state takes care of it.

Decision on how much to charge is also a matter of asking ourselves who will be affected by such decision and what its effect will be.


One final food for thought is the test of publicity:

Can you disclose your fees without qualms?

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