20140828 PAP privatised public healthcare costs but who are the beneficiaries of government grants?

Below is the bill of my 15 year old child who had waited for hours to see a doctor for 5 minutes.

With reference to the above bill:

1-The consultation fee “full amount” is stated as “$38.97”.

Consultation fees of private clinics like the Healthway Medical Group range from $22 to $35. In my child’s case, it would have been about only $22 at a private clinic.  There are also neighbourhood private clinics charging below this rate. The consultation fees at public clinics are expected to be much lower for obvious reasons eg. no rental cost, lower staff salaries, etc

Why do polyclinics jack up consultation fees to about 100% above average private consultation fees and then subsequently offer an unbelievable grant?

2 – The full amount of Paracetamol is stated as “$5.29”.

But the retail price of a box of 20 tablets is only $2.50 at Guardian.

Why do polyclinics mark up more than 100% from retail price and than offer an unbelievable grant?

A better comparison would of course be online prices. In the UK, a box of 16 tablets costs about S$0.50, which is a fraction of the stated price at polyclinics.

MOH purchases Paracetamol in bulk which should mean they are even cheaper than online prices.

Which company does the MOH buy at such high prices from?

3 – Government grant – “46.12”.

A grant is an expenditure item.

Which companies are the recipients of all such government grants?

Attendance at polyclinics was 4,623,600 in 2013. If government grants averaged $46 per patient last year, more than $212 million would have been paid out by the government.

Who ultimately receives the grants?

Instead of reigning in public healthcare costs, the PAP government uses tax dollars (grants) to support and increase healthcare costs to unaffordable levels.

How could a visit to a polyclinic for a common ailment such as cough cost $54 (before grants) when private clinics are charging much less?

This is ridiculous considering polyclinics:

– do not pay rent
– are not profit making
– have overall lower staff costs
– purchase medication in bulk
– provide a lower service than private clinics eg longer waiting time.

Conclusion

It is wrong for the PAP government to privatise public healthcare costs and subsequently offer a “government grant”’. Hundreds of millions of dollars been have paid out as “government grant”.

Actual public healthcare should cost only only a fraction of the “full amount” in polyclinic bills. This begs the question – who are the real beneficiaries of government grants?

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7 Responses to 20140828 PAP privatised public healthcare costs but who are the beneficiaries of government grants?

  1. KO says:

    Great point! Damn… -_- I never paid attention to the details in those bills until you pointed this out. Another AIM-esque case in the making? hmm…

  2. Anonymous says:

    What you write, if accurate, is extremely disturbing and deserves nothing less than a Ministerial response. I suggest you copy this to the WP for them to raise it in Parliament.

  3. anon says:

    Remove your son’s name from the image lah:

    • phillip ang says:

      Hi
      Thanks but there is really no need to remove my son’s name. 🙂

      You can see from my numerous emails to PM Lee, ministers and MPs posted to my blog that I have never written under the cover of anonymity. Don’t worry about being marked or anything like that when you are stating facts. : )

  4. KKLow says:

    I am a diabetic patient and consult dr at a public hospital in the city for the past 15 years. I NEVER buy the prescribed medicines as the hospital charges me approx 5-6 times more than I can buy from other suppliers. The medicines provided by the hospital are the same generic materials from the same supplier.
    Even with PG subsidy say 50%, they still make good profit. So where is the subsidy?
    The so call ” market subsidy” is just like some supermarkets, jack up prices and then offer a 50% discount. What counts is the final price paid. NO gimmicks. Payment with so-call “less subsidy included” is just like buying petrol in Singapore. Certainly I do not need a rocket scientist to work up the numbers.

    • phillip ang says:

      Thank you for sharing the information. The PAP government should simply state the final price just like what other countries do. The prices stated on the bill are at the whim of the PAP government. The question which must be answered is who are the ultimate recipients of government grants/subsidies. Citizens have been taken for a ride for too long. It is strange no MP has brought this up in Parliament.

  5. CK says:

    The medical/pharmaceutical industry is big business, and I think you know very well what the greedy PAP govt does with it.

    Same old story: you die is your business, but never mind, wave your PG card and all your medical needs are magically taken care of (at least till the next GE).

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