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.
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?