Hospitals: ‘Subsidised’ not available?

Leong Sze Hian /

I refer to the deposit required for admission to public hospitals.

No subsidised ward, how?

Since patients needing emergency care and who have financial difficulties with furnishing a deposit (because the estimated hospitalization bill is higher than the Medisave withdrawal limits, or if the funds in the Medisave account are insufficient) will still be admitted if the medical condition warrants so, what happens to those patients who choose subsidised wards with a medical condition not warranted as “emergency care” and are unable to pay the required deposit?

Maximum wait is 12 hours?

As I understand that the Ministry of Health’s (MOH) Key Performance Indicator (KPI) is that patients in the Accident and Emergency (A&E) ward should not have to wait more than 12 hours for a hospital bed of the selected ward class, I would like to suggest that public hospitals inform such patients that they will be transferred to another public hospital with an available subsidised ward bed, so that patients will know that the wait for a bed should not be more than 12 hours.

Otherwise, patients may be unduly stressed into deciding to upgrade to a non-subsidised higher class ward.

Upgrading policy?

Since it has always been and still is the policy at all public hospitals to upgrade patients to higher class wards when the selected subsidised ward class bed is not available, and still charge the non-subsidised rate, I would like to suggest that this policy be made known to subsidised patients as well when a bed is not available.

Otherwise, patients may similarly be overly stressed, thinking that they must find the money to upgrade to a non-subsidised ward in order to be hospitalized.

How many can’t pay?

By the way, how many patients who are hospitalized in public hospitals are unable to pay their bills when they are discharged?

And how many end up paying 24 per cent interest on their credit cards to pay for the admission deposit required?

‘Subsidised’ – need deposit?

Finally why is it that the estimated hospitalization bill can be higher than the Medisave withdrawal limits, even for patients who choose subsidised wards, and thus still require a deposit?

Shouldn’t “Medisave withdrawal limits” be sufficient for subsidised wards hospitalization, in the first place?

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