Boss, hospital have their say

Mr Wilson Chan was unhappy that Parkway East Hospital had asked him to pay $30,000 before the reconstruction operation of his employee's hand could proceed.

The owner of a construction and renovation company posted his experience on the hospital's Facebook page on July 15, right after his worker, Mr Li Yuan Jun, went in for the operation.


After arriving at the hospital, he paid a deposit of $4,700 for general surgery.

Later in the afternoon, he was told that the full hospital bill, which includes the surgeon's fee and hospitalisation, would be $44,000.

Mr Chan said he told the hospital he would have to consider moving Mr Li to a public hospital because his insurance coverage was up to a maximum of $30,000.

After negotiations with the hospital and surgeon, the cost was brought down to $30,000 and Mr Chan gave the go-ahead for the operation to proceed.

At 5pm, the hospital told him that he had to pay the full sum, he said.

"I couldn't raise such a big sum at that time and said I would come back with the money by 10am the next day, but they refused," said Mr Chan.

The operation eventually went ahead without him having to pay the $30,000. He settled the bill the next day with a cash cheque of $25,650.


Parkway East Hospital chief executive, Dr Ahmad Adzuan, said that the hospital makes exceptions, on a case-by-case basis, to treat patients in critical condition even if they are unable to afford the cost of treatment.

"In Mr Li's case, he was attended to at the A&E department immediately upon his arrival at the hospital. He was subsequently put under observation in the ward, where he was cared for by our nurses and later reviewed by a hand surgeon," he said.

"The hospital eventually decided to proceed with the surgery to reattach the severed fingers anyway, despite having no assurance of full payment."

Apologising for Mr Li's experience at the hospital, Dr Ahmad wished him a speedy recovery.

"We are pleased to note that Mr Tan's surgery was completed successfully."