Monday, April 9, 2012

Reply from SNEC

Eye Centre's higher charges due to operating expenses, inflation
Letter from Moses Wong Chief Financial Officer, Singapore National Eye Centre
Apr 06, 2012

We thank Madam Tong Jee Cheng for her feedback "Is Eye Centre losing sight of the needy with fee hike?"

As a national specialty centre which treats complex eye conditions, the Singapore National Eye Centre (SNEC) is committed to providing quality, cost-effective care. No patient shall be denied medical attention because of the inability to afford treatment.

It is sensitive to the impact of fee revisions on patients and adjusts charges only when necessary.

To contain rising healthcare costs, we continuously look for ways to improve processes and productivity, leveraging on group purchases to achieve economies of scale.

We try as far as possible to maintain our charges. For example, the fee for the Optical Coherence Tomography eye test was revised only twice in eight years. For consultation charges, the last increase was in 2010.

Operating expenses such as utilities, maintenance and fuel prices have risen in the last two years.

With the need to upgrade various diagnostic equipment to keep up with technological advances, we had to review charges this year to keep pace with healthcare inflation.

The coming salary enhancements for doctors and other healthcare professionals are funded fully by the Government and, thus, not a factor in this fee revision.

The SNEC has assistance schemes in place to help needy patients, including Medifund. Needy patients can also access the new Medication Assistance Fund, which helps pay for high-cost drugs they may require for specific conditions.

We wish to reiterate our commitment to delivering quality, affordable care to Singaporeans.

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