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Inaccurate newspaper story

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Hvr

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Yeah like that's news! :p

However the headline
Doctors want free flights for service is quite inaccurate.

"DOCTORS are calling for free flights, upgrades or payments in return for attending sick passengers during their travels.
The Australian Medical Association is asking airlines to provide incentives for doctors whose travels are ruined by treating fellow passengers.
The push comes after a Sydney GP sent a bill for her services to Malaysia Airlines after treating three sick passengers while on an August flight to Kuala Lumpur".


Currently listening to 3aw and they are telling a totally different story. It is alleged that the passengers were affected by drugs and being very unruly. The doctor spent more than 5 hours treating them.


She was travelling with her family including young children. When she asked for an upgrade she was given a toiletries and a pair of pyjamas.

Let's never wonder why doctors wont identify themselves when called.
 

Evan

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As long as they are suggesting that these perks are given 'after' attending to a fellow flyers needs then in some ways i would say its a reasonable request, but why should the airline be the person why has to pay for a doctors services when its the other passanger needing the service.

I guess the argument is the 'airline' is requesting the doctors assistance, not the other passanger, hence the person requesting the service should 'pay'. and by pay if that means a free upgrade they fly well maybe thats a reasonable payment, maybe not.

Same on a bus or train, do you expect the bus company or train company to pay for another passangers need ?

Possibe the answer is for a guideline that indicates a doctor may 'charge' X$ for service to passangers in need when flying. Spell it out up-front so everybody knows.... maybe the airlines should put a clause in the ticket sale that "if" the passanger requests assitance and there is no assurance any assistance could be given (since airlines can't be sure a doctor is onbaord) then they must pay X$ to the doctor or airline ?

Of course the real concern is doctors getting sued when provideing 'treatment'. ie they had had pre-flight drink and later assist a passanger who then sues them for mal practise since they were drink etc.

Who would be a doctor ! i would think twice that is for sure.

E
 

Dave Noble

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Evan said:
As long as they are suggesting that these perks are given 'after' attending to a fellow flyers needs then in some ways i would say its a reasonable request, but why should the airline be the person why has to pay for a doctors services when its the other passanger needing the service.

I guess the argument is the 'airline' is requesting the doctors assistance, not the other passanger, hence the person requesting the service should 'pay'. and by pay if that means a free upgrade they fly well maybe thats a reasonable payment, maybe not.
I fully support that the doctor should be paid for providing a service in flight, in fact i remember an issue a few years ago where a doctor who assisted on a BA flight invoiced BA afterwards for the service provided and that seems eminently reasonable

I cannot see why the airline should expect to get professional services free of charge

Dave
 

straitman

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Dave Noble said:
I fully support that the doctor should be paid for providing a service in flight, in fact i remember an issue a few years ago where a doctor who assisted on a BA flight invoiced BA afterwards for the service provided and that seems eminently reasonable

I cannot see why the airline should expect to get professional services free of charge

Dave
Will this charged as a house call or at the RFDS rates :?:
 

oz_mark

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Dave Noble said:
I fully support that the doctor should be paid for providing a service in flight, in fact i remember an issue a few years ago where a doctor who assisted on a BA flight invoiced BA afterwards for the service provided and that seems eminently reasonable

I cannot see why the airline should expect to get professional services free of charge

Dave
I think the question is who should pay for the service, the airline, or the passenger that needed the service. In the scheme of things, I think airlines rely on the chances of a doctor being present on a flight and thus able toprovide a service.
 

Mal

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Let's examine this further.

Example 1: A very unruly pax next to me (it would never be me ;) ) starts harrasing the FA. She tells him to stop. He doesn't and starts threatening the safety of the plane. I restrain him and assist the FA in putting on the cuffs they carry.

Should I be compensated? What if he spits on me or tries to bite me while assisting the airline? What should happen?

Example 2: A Rat starts running up the aisle of a plane. People are screaming and the rat is causing pandemonium (insert snake instead of rat if you're not scared of rats :) ) I manage to stop the rat and capture it..

Should I be compensated?

Different skills can be called on at various times when flying. Doctors are often used, and yes I agree the airline should thank them and give a level of compensation (I'm not specifying the compensation that they receive - just that they should receive some compensation). But they're not the only specialists that might be called on in an emergency.

Should they ignore a 'Is there a medical doctor on the plane' call? That's up to them and their ethics. But I don't think compensation should be the first thing on their mind.
 

Dave Noble

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Mal said:
Should they ignore a 'Is there a medical doctor on the plane' call? That's up to them and their ethics. But I don't think compensation should be the first thing on their mind.
They are not employees of the airline so why shouldn't recompense be the 1st thing. If you were at home and you needed a professional immediately and you called a plumber and asked him to fix a problem, can you imagine the plumber offering to do it for free. The airlines do not even (iirc) offer doctors a discount rate to doctors in exchange for an agreement to offer to assist if a problem occurs

Dave
 

Dave Noble

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straitman said:
Will this charged as a house call or at the RFDS rates :?:
I cannot remember exactly, I just remember seeing it reported at the time; iirc, he sent BA a bill for something like ₤200 for the service

Dave
 

wallacej

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This is an interesting thread.

On a DJ flight earlier (MEL-BNE) this year a fellow passenger was having issues. I turned to find him laying on the floor at the rear of the plane, with two hosties over him.

A page was made for a doctor... no response.

It would have been five minutes later, I overheard talk between FA's of diverting to SYD. Another page was made, and it was only then after the second page that a doctor, and a nurse identified themselves, and offered assistance.

Some treatment given, px returned to new seat at the back of the plane, and flight continued to destination.

I must say, regardless of who pays, if you are a doctor you isn't there an obligation to assist if required, AND if able. A family holiday is not an excuse, however, having had a drink or 4 is, and in such case I would be relucatant to assist.

I know vets will treat animals, rescued from the side of the road, even with no owner present, and not that worried at that point about payment if an emergency arises.

I am sure if assistance is called for on a flight, it would most likely not be for a runny nose, but something more serious that a senior FA could not deal with. I just think if assistance is called, it should be given.

In the case mentioned by the OP, I think they earned an upgrade (if available), if for nothing more than a thanks.
 

Dave Noble

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wallacej said:
I must say, regardless of who pays, if you are a doctor you isn't there an obligation to assist if required, .
Taking the sentence literally, then of course there would be an obligation to assist if required, however the doctor is not am employee of the airline but a customer and is no more obliged to provide service to the company than any other passenger so I see no requirement.

Dave
 

wallacej

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Dave Noble said:
Taking the sentence literally, then of course there would be an obligation to assist if required, however the doctor is not am employee of the airline but a customer and is no more obliged to provide service to the company than any other passenger so I see no requirement.

Dave
I guess I am thinking that if something was happening to me that the doctor would treat me without hesitation. If that doctor decided to bill me for the service, or the airline forwarded the bill to me, I would have no problem with paying.

I would not like to not be treated because the doctor wasn't sure if they would be paid or not. I am sure there are no doctors that would think that way! (I seriously doubt any doctor would do that)
 

Dave Noble

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wallacej said:
I guess I am thinking that if something was happening to me that the doctor would treat me without hesitation. If that doctor decided to bill me for the service, or the airline forwarded the bill to me, I would have no problem with paying.
But other people would say no, that they had not requested the service and that they were not going to pay. I think it is eminently reasonable for there to be a standard agreed remuneration that an airline offers doctors that assist (whether that be an upgrade voucher, cash, travel voucher etc) if they want to get the services of a doctor. How much does the airline save should having a doctor onboard assist which would otherwise cause a diversion?

Dave
 

Mal

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Reggie said:
Even Kenny got a date with a QF FA:D

Qantas flying to BNA on a 767? Yeah right. Plus the uniforms didn't match. Bet half the readers of this thread don't get what we are talking about :)
 

Reggie

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Mal said:
Qantas flying to BNA on a 767? Yeah right. Plus the uniforms didn't match. Bet half the readers of this thread don't get what we are talking about :)
Scary thing was I attended a conference at that very hotel (if you could call the place merely a hotel) in BNA during January this year. I walked into the convention centre and recognised it straight away.
 

Hvr

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For a man who just went through the motions Kenny didn't do too badly. :rolleyes:

Back to the original topic, surely the airline has a duty of care in not allowing drug affected passengers on the plane in the first place (if it were obvious) and for the doctor to spend five hours treating them is incredibly excessive.

If anyone requires five hours of treatment then the plane should be diverted to the nearest airport and the affected passengers put off the plane. But that would cost the airline a huge amount of money and delay other pax, maybe for a day or more so the airline took the cheap option and used the services of the doctor for free.

Sounds like the airline wants everything and will use doctors as a free service. If they want doctors to keep identifying themselves and assisting then they have to give something in return. Not quite sure what but it is a matter that needs to be addressed.

I'm not a doctor so it won't affect me unless I get sick on the plane. Given I neither drink nor consume illegal drugs my chances of needing a doctor in flight are lower than this situation.
 

codash1099

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I've never actually read it, but I would imagine that the doctor's responsibility would be covered by the Hippocratic Oath - the spirit if not the actual words.
 

Dave Noble

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codash1099 said:
I've never actually read it, but I would imagine that the doctor's responsibility would be covered by the Hippocratic Oath - the spirit if not the actual words.
The Hippocratic oath only covers what a physician should/should not do when treating a person , not whether he is obligated to actually instigate any service

Dave
 

codash1099

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Dave Noble said:
The Hippocratic oath only covers what a physician should/should not do when treating a person , not whether he is obligated to actually instigate any service

Dave
I don't wish to belabour the point, but one section of the Modern oarth is:

"[FONT=Arial, Helvetica, Geneva]Hippocratic Oath—Modern Version


I will apply, for the benefit of the sick, all measures [that] are required, avoiding those twin traps of overtreatment and therapeutic nihilism.

and

I will remember that I remain a member of society, with special obligations to all my fellow human beings, those sound of mind and body as well as the infirm."

Written in 1964 by Louis Lasagna, Academic Dean of the School of Medicine at Tufts University, and used in many medical schools today.

Of course, it also says:

[/FONT][FONT=Arial, Helvetica, Geneva]"Above all, I must not play at God."[/FONT] :evil:
 

drron

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I dont know how often rat or snake specialists are asked to provide their services in flight though here in the USA there is discussion as to how frequently scorpions get onto planes.However doctors are not infrequently called.It has happened to me twice.First on QF flying to LHR.I had to spend 2-3 hours back in economy when i was in business.If I had not responded(no other doctor came forward) then the plane would probably have diverted but the condition was not life threatening and so flight was completed.FA gave my wife a 747 model and bottle of champagne.
Next was recently on JAL from NRT-JFK.An immunocompromised patient developed pneumonia and I seriously considered asking for a diversion.However she responded to antibiotics and IV fluids.The treatment from the staff was completely different.A FA was assigned to stay with me and act as translator,The purser and co-pilot came to assess the situation from time to time and later on a personal letter from the president of JAL with a gift of an electronic calculator.Also told of the successful result of treatment in NYC.This was the best reward.
Contrary to perceptions I have not experienced upgrades,free flights etc.However I felt appreciated by JAL and taken for granted by QF.
 
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