Singapore

Consultation fees up at polyclinics

Be prepared to fork out more when you visit the neighbourhood polyclinic.

The National Healthcare Group raised fees in April and SingHealth is doing so this month, The Straits Times reported today (July 9).

Both operators — which run all of Singapore's 18 polyclinics — were not willing to disclose exactly how much fees have increased by.

But an ST check showed prices have gone up. And visits to a polyclinic under each group showed there were no signs indicating the hike.

 

Source: ST 

The basic consultation is on top of what patients would be charged for medication, laboratory tests and so on.

The fee hike for permanent residents and foreigners is steeper, with both groups paying up to $1.60 and $2.90 more respectively.

Both polyclinic operators said the higher fees were a reflection of increased operating costs.

Director of finance at NHG Polyclinics David Kok​ said: 

“We revised our fees to manage rising operating costs such as utilities, infrastructure, equipment upgrades and inflation.” 

The operators also assured patients that prices would remain affordable.

And no one would be turned away if he could not pay the bill.

SingHealth Polyclinics chief operating officer Luna Lee said: 

“Our fees remain heavily subsidised for Singapore citizens, especially the elderly.”

Some people like 20-year-old Ahmad Noorfahmy Mohamad Salleh felt the increased prices were not too steep and remain more affordable than what regular general practitioners charge.

Others like cleaner Jamila Yusuff, 54, felt patients should have been informed of the change in prices.

She visited Outram Polyclinic on Tuesday (July 7) and noticed the fee increase only when she checked her bill. 

She said:

“It's not too expensive for me... But some seniors will ask, ‘Why is the medicine the same but I’m paying more?’”

Sources: The Straits Times, My Paper

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