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My doctor doubled surgery fees after the surgery, pls help

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sleepydog
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Postby sleepydog » Wed, 15 Apr 2009 1:59 pm

If you are not a Singaporean or Singapore PR, you will be charged more as a foreign patient for the same operation/procedure gone through, no matter which country u come from, how long u have been worked in Singapore, rich or poor... :evil:

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ksl
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Postby ksl » Sun, 19 Apr 2009 5:52 pm

piggySGexpat wrote:Ksl,

Thank you for sharing. I'm glad that your operation went well and you are doing well now. May I ask which hospital did you go to?

My case was a little different though as I got few detailed bills with $5000+ for one month and a half after the surgery (during the period that I thought my insurance company was going to pay). Then suddenly they just sent a letter saying the fees were increased to $7000, due to the increase in the surgeon and the anesthetic fees.

Best wishes.


I went to SGH cardiac unit, the cheapest, I had been treated at Mount Elizabeth previously but they couldn't find anything wrong, so i started going to SGH because it was looking serious, i knew there was something, and after the attack in UK, i just needed the angiogram.

Although it is half price in Taiwan, Thailand is not cheap either. The actual stent cost is 90k TW$ and 5K Singapore and 150K ThaiBat, same brand of stent.

My op would have been cheaper, but they had to use the pressure wire, which was 4.5k. I was happy with the service though, no need to go private at all, all the private surgeons have been taught at SGH in most cases, but i was quoted 4.5k came to over 9.6k altogether, and I haven't been able to get any reasonable medical cover for the last 10 years, they are all looking at 15k sing$ a year because of my age and history.

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Update

Postby piggySGexpat » Fri, 24 Apr 2009 3:12 pm

Hi,

I would like to thank everyone again for the comments and suggestions. I did sent KK hospital a letter requesting an explanation of the increase in the fees and tell them that I may file a case at CASE and Small Claims Tribunal (as advised).

Today, they called me and told me that they will adjust the fees back to the original level as they cannot provide a reasonable explanation for it.

Have a good weekend.

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Postby sleepydog » Fri, 24 Apr 2009 3:59 pm

That's good! so we have to learn how to complain if you are unsatisfied :P :wink:

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ksl
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Re: Update

Postby ksl » Fri, 24 Apr 2009 7:13 pm

piggySGexpat wrote:Hi,

I would like to thank everyone again for the comments and suggestions. I did sent KK hospital a letter requesting an explanation of the increase in the fees and tell them that I may file a case at CASE and Small Claims Tribunal (as advised).

Today, they called me and told me that they will adjust the fees back to the original level as they cannot provide a reasonable explanation for it.

Have a good weekend.


That's great news, although i don't suppose i'll be so lucky, when i meet the consultant!

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Postby taxico » Fri, 08 May 2009 2:51 pm

as long as the consultant is able to explain why he/she increased the fees, there's no getting out of it, even if you complain to CASE and/or the SMC.

sorry. : \

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Postby Salah » Wed, 27 May 2009 9:31 pm

My mother was hospitalized for 23 days. After which I've to call National Healthcare Grp, write to AG Pension Branch (she a pensioner) and cc to TTS Hospital to finally have the bill reduced to one tenth the original charge. I've complained abt having to contact the NHG even though the billing was in TTSH letterhead. The contact no. on the bill was however that of NHG. The issue was settled within the week after several separate exchanges. It seemed that TTSH has upgraded her ward stay without informing or consulting her. It not the hospital practice to claim higher charges for such upgrade.

I'm not surprised that this happened given the current restructuring of our health care system. The admin side still have issues to iron out. I doubt it is the Hospital fault in these billing mistakes.

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taxico
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Postby taxico » Wed, 27 May 2009 10:51 pm

Salah wrote:I'm not surprised that this happened given the current restructuring of our health care system. The admin side still have issues to iron out. I doubt it is the Hospital fault in these billing mistakes.


you'd be surprised how many billing "mistakes" are made... and how their staff (including doctors) try to get away with it.

tut tut.

and oh hey, this thread is actually about doctors revising their fees after rendering services, not about hospitals over-charging on an administrative error.

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Postby Salah » Wed, 27 May 2009 10:56 pm

taxico wrote:
Salah wrote:I'm not surprised that this happened given the current restructuring of our health care system. The admin side still have issues to iron out. I doubt it is the Hospital fault in these billing mistakes.


you'd be surprised how many billing "mistakes" are made... and how their staff (including doctors) try to get away with it.

tut tut.

and oh hey, this thread is actually about doctors revising their fees after rendering services, not about hospitals over-charging on an administrative error.


Yes. The idea is to rid the roots of these "mistakes" and make sure they don't appear again. Period.

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Postby ksl » Wed, 27 May 2009 11:11 pm

Well I had my say, when i met the consultant, and he agreed with me, it was kind of misleading, I did make a point of saying that the practise is apparently common and unethical, he knew quite well that i had been to Taiwan for the operation, but the scan I took with me from Singapore was useless, it couldn't be used for anything and yet i was charged for it.

I know full well the risks of movement on the table, while being scanned hence one tries harder not to move, I also know the operator could also make an error by telling the patient to hold their breath at the wrong time.

My main point of discussion was about bringing the medical profession into disrepute, among westerners and expatriates, because of their practise.

The matter would be discussed seriously, they wasn't aware of any wrong doing, tut tut, I said my wife phoned administration the day of my discharge for the bill and was quoted half the price, so she only came, to pay half the price. On arrival to pay, it was doubled,...Full of apologies, but i said, no need to apologise, because i had already warned my wife of the practise here. Unethical was the only word i could think of. :)

I was assured that they would be sorted out!

The mistakes i found where clearly within the contract, it wasn't transparent to patients, the word consumables for example can mean a great deal of things, although when a quote is requested, the minimum should be quoted to get the work done, and that is not the case, in my case, although the morning of discharge, when the wife rings the administration and is still quoted the same price as before the operation, naturally she will only arrive with the money to pay the quotation.

Since it was doubled by the time she arrived, well shock and dismay :???:

Although i was very happy with the service and the standard of care, it quite possibly saved my life at that moment, so the money is actually no big deal...But the reputation of Singapore means a lot to many people, so lets keep it that way and strive to improve the mistakes.
Last edited by ksl on Wed, 27 May 2009 11:29 pm, edited 5 times in total.

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taxico
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Postby taxico » Thu, 28 May 2009 12:46 pm

one of the biggest reasons why i refuse to practice medicine in singapore is because 90% of the doctors there are unethical slimey bastards.

when i locumed some years ago in singapore, i was yelled at for giving out samples and told repeatedly to prescribe supplements to certain patients and not tell them what it is.

and even if i think the consult does not warrant a fee, i have been told off because i waived it.

taking unnecessary scans at a few hundred sing dollars a pop is part and parcel of being a scum bad physician in singapore.

so is revising fees. like my first reply in this thread, it's never final until it's final...

even the SMA can't do anything about it, and have removed the fee structure.

the system badly needs an overhaul, but PAP would rather the doctors earn heaps so that they can retain them within the country AND tax them accordingly.

bite them!

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Postby Salah » Thu, 28 May 2009 1:26 pm

taxico wrote:when i locumed some years ago in singapore, i was yelled at for giving out samples and told repeatedly to prescribe supplements to certain patients and not tell them what it is.


Which hospital is that? When my mother was discharged, both the nurses and the doctors were very thorough in explaining the dosages and medication prescribed. In fact, I thought they were rather paranoid and naggy given that my mother has been taking the same medication for a while.

However in my own experience, I've met an Indian doctor who didn't know what is "synflex", a drug to which I was allergic to. And this took place in a skin specialist clinic. She finally checked with nurse on that.

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Postby Salah » Thu, 28 May 2009 1:36 pm

ksl wrote:Well I had my say, when i met the consultant, and he agreed with me, it was kind of misleading, I did make a point of saying that the practise is apparently common and unethical, he knew quite well that i had been to Taiwan for the operation, but the scan I took with me from Singapore was useless, it couldn't be used for anything and yet i was charged for it.

I know full well the risks of movement on the table, while being scanned hence one tries harder not to move, I also know the operator could also make an error by telling the patient to hold their breath at the wrong time.

My main point of discussion was about bringing the medical profession into disrepute, among westerners and expatriates, because of their practise.

The matter would be discussed seriously, they wasn't aware of any wrong doing, tut tut, I said my wife phoned administration the day of my discharge for the bill and was quoted half the price, so she only came, to pay half the price. On arrival to pay, it was doubled,...Full of apologies, but i said, no need to apologise, because i had already warned my wife of the practise here. Unethical was the only word i could think of. :)

I was assured that they would be sorted out!

The mistakes i found where clearly within the contract, it wasn't transparent to patients, the word consumables for example can mean a great deal of things, although when a quote is requested, the minimum should be quoted to get the work done, and that is not the case, in my case, although the morning of discharge, when the wife rings the administration and is still quoted the same price as before the operation, naturally she will only arrive with the money to pay the quotation.

Since it was doubled by the time she arrived, well shock and dismay :???:

Although i was very happy with the service and the standard of care, it quite possibly saved my life at that moment, so the money is actually no big deal...But the reputation of Singapore means a lot to many people, so lets keep it that way and strive to improve the mistakes.


3 out of 4 times, in our experiences with the local hospitals, issues concerning billings are inevitable. The local hospitals are managed in clusters and groups. The NHG has a few hospitals under its fold. Most of our billing issues are result of miscommunication btwn the hospitals and NHG. Like yourself, I've no complaints and only praises on the care and kindness that we received during our stay.

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taxico
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Postby taxico » Thu, 28 May 2009 5:41 pm

Salah wrote:
taxico wrote:when i locumed some years ago in singapore...


Which hospital is that?


private practice; one big, one small. no names, sorry.

synflex are marvelous blue pills that does wonders for my headaches!

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sundaymorningstaple
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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Thu, 28 May 2009 5:58 pm

Synflex are also hydraulic hoses that I used in the offshore oil drilling industry for 30 years or so. They have probably been around longer than those little pills have.


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