MARCH EDITORIAL

The expression, `costing an arm or a leg’, brings new understanding to what this really means after the traumatic medical accident or I think I should say, accidents, experienced by members of our family recently.

Having to cope with emergency medical situations is never easy for anyone involved and let me immediately say that we received superb assistance from the ER based at Constantiaberg Hospital and the staff of the hospital.  However coping with the financial fall-out thereof is mind boggling in the extreme.

I am aware that medicine is big business and as such every tiny widget, nut and/or screw must be accounted for in every sense of the word.  I am now even more aware of the meaning of, time is money and that certain professions obviously put a monetary value not only on time but on words. The more abstract and less understandable the discussion is to the layman the higher the cost per consultation it would appear.

But besides all of the above, nothing new to many people I am sure, what really fascinated me was the process of cost accounting.  I think we artists must learn from this.

Our own accountant has always pounded away at me to put every single item that is spent on a production so that we can see the real cost and I have resisted because I know that no one will pay the real cost of our extremely labour intensive work.  Well it isn’t a necessity like that operation or medical procedure is, is it?

Nevertheless I spent many hours waiting and imagining all the busy people carefully recording every item and minute spent on doing whatever they were doing. Then it would all be turned into beautifully detailed statements and all that was needed was the payment.  I wonder how many of the invoices rendered to the various medical aid schemes are scrutinized in great detail and with understanding of the content?  Just a thought.

To all our readers stay healthy and accident free it can be a very painful experience both physically and financially – but what a learning experience in so many ways.