Friday, March 30, 2012

Medical fee being increased on the sly

Govt under PAP says they will 'ensure' healthcare is 'affordable'. But hospital is increasing healthcare cost on the 'sly'.

Take for example, after the announcement that healthcare folks will be better paid, S'pore National Eye Centre (SNEC) increased their consultation fee from $56 to $59 (5% increase) this month for non-subsidized patients. For those under subsidy it is from $29 to $32 (10% increase). Thus increase in fee in terms of percentage is more subsidized patients and they also bear the full increase of the fee. Is this logical ? Why make the needy folks bear the full increase in fee ? Are they making patients pay for the increase salary of healthcare professional?

Last year SNEC increased the cost of an eye test (optical coherent tomography) from $56 to $68 - for non-subsidized patients and from $28 to $34 for subsidized patients. Thus it is $12 increase for non-subsidized patients and $6 for subsidized patients. This is a 21% increase in fee ! The only consolation is that at least subsidized patients don't end up bearing the full burden of the increase. Now they are getting more heartless !

The issue is many senior citizens will end up with some form of eye problems as we aged. For eye problems, we cannot go to polyclinic but need to be under by specialist care. The consultation fee, eye tests and medication are so expensive. Medisave cannot be used for all these medical cost. This is one area of heavy healthcare expenditure that needs attention.

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