Patient decries non-transparency in medical fees after being charged 40% more for same service at public hospital

A Facebook user, Michael Daryanani wrote in the Facebook group ‘Soul of Singapore’ some medical charges at government hospitals have increased by 40% in the last six months.

Mr Daryanani wrote: “Have any of you realised that some medical charges at government hospitals have gone up by 40% within the last 6 months without the citizens knowing? Giving 25% subsidy to the Merdeka generation but increasing certain charges by 40% is not being transparent. Hope my MP will bring this up at the next Parliament sitting!!”

When asked if he has any evidence to support his claims, he then shared a photo of two tax invoices from the Khoo Teck Puat Hospital side by side, one dated 11 June 2019 and the other dated 20 November 2019.

The bill dated June showed a charge for consultation of S$74, and specialised investigations of an ultrasound residual urine scan and uroflow studies of S$32 and S$20.20 each. The total before government subsidy comes up to S$126.20. After subsidy, the bill is S$63.10.

However, five months later in November, the bill for exactly the same services came up to S$148.57. The consultation fee stayed the same at S$74 but the charges for the other two procedures increase to S$45.71 and S$28.86. The total after deducting the standard government subsidy is S$74.28, higher than in June.

The November bill also showed an addition 25% subsidy deduction for the Merdeka generation, making the final total S$55.71.

While the total amount payable is lower for those in the Merdeka generation, the cost of services has clearly increased by 42.8% for both the ultrasound and uroflow studies.

When asked if there was any difference in the services received, Mr Daryanani said he cannot remember anything different, explaining that “the invoice states it all”.

Another member of the group asked if he could have been attended by a senior consultant in the latter session, but Mr Daryanani pointed out that the consultation fees remained the same. It is the service fees that increased.

He went on to clarify,  “Have been attended by senior consultant all the time. Wanted to know how much lesser I would be paying with the additional 25% subsidy after Nov 2019. I still paid $7.40 less but it should have been S$15.70 less. Consultation fees no change but tests gone up by 40%. Not sure others had the same experiences of they don’t check the bills. Test fees up by 40% within 6 months and why no information given prior to the patients.”

Mr Daryanani said he wants people to be aware and to keep their bills for comparison. He also said he will approach his Member of Parliament about the issue.

TOC has reached out to Khoo Teck Puat Hospital for comments on Monday.

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