Whenever people want to consult a doctor in Lebanon, they rely on word of mouth and ask their friends and family members about the “best” doctor in town. Most of the time, this doctor (a7san 7akim bil balad) is so overwhelmed with appointments that you need a month or two to book a 30 seconds appointment after waiting a couple of hours at least.
Personally speaking, I’d rather see a not so well known doctor who has time for his patients and who follows up properly instead of prescribing drugs and tests instantly and making you wait till the second appointment. Luckily enough, my brother is a physician so he can always refer me to his friends or simply advise me on what to do.
Nevertheless, I was debating with Jimmy the other day following his interview with MTV on whether it’s a good idea to review doctors online just like we review restaurants and venues. While we agreed that review websites aren’t perfect and that ratings based on opinions cannot possibly show how well a doctor is doing his job, there are still several parameters that can be used to select a health care provider, such as office cleanliness, waiting room accommodations, staff courtesy and professionalism, ease of scheduling, punctuality, communication skills and others.
More importantly, having such websites will offer information regarding these physicians, their education and training, licensing and certification, what types of insurance they cover, which hospitals they worked in etc …
All in all, I think we desperately need online directories that help us look for health professionals in Lebanon. As for having a platform to assess physicians or hospitals in general, this is a sensitive issue but there’s an increasing demand for such ratings and rankings everywhere around the world that can no longer be ignored. The same applies to lawyers, dentists, professors and all sorts of professions.
There’s already a website called [Ayyaprofessor] that allows students to rate professors anonymously in Lebanese universities.