AN IMPOSTOR managed to see a doctor at Bukit Batok Polyclinic using someone else’s NRIC number, then left without paying the bill of $40.80.
She also managed to change the address and contact number of the person she was posing as – without producing any proof of identity or documentation, evening daily Lianhe Wanbao reported yesterday.
The incident, which happened last August, came to light only when the victim, Diana Ng, called Ang Mo Kio Polyclinic last Wednesday to make an appointment for a health screening.
When verifying Ms Ng’s address and contact number over the phone, the polyclinic staff member noticed discrepancies in the information. At the time, the property agent thought nothing of it.
“The staff member said that the information I gave was different from the records in the system, and asked me to take my identity card along during the check-up,” the 36-year-old told Wanbao.
When she went to the polyclinic last Friday, a staff member asked her: “Did you visit China last year? Did you go to Bukit Batok Polyclinic to see a doctor to get cough medicine?”
It was then that Ms Ng realised someone had used her identity to see a doctor, and even requested a change in her personal details. The person also left an outstanding bill of $40.80.
Ms Ng learnt that the impostor did not present an identity card (IC), and the polyclinic staff member allowed the person to see the doctor after simply verifying the name and NRIC number she gave.
“This time, the amount owed is only $40. What if the impostor goes to a polyclinic and requests a referral letter for an operation at a hospital, then incurs thousands of dollars in medical fees? What then?”
She immediately made a police report, accompanied by a clinic staff member.
Tracy Gan, deputy director of service leadership and patient relations with National Healthcare Group Polyclinics (NHGP), told Wanbao that it will assist with the investigations and expressed its “deepest regret” for Ms Ng’s experience.
A patient visiting the polyclinic is required to present the IC or any other identification documentation for registration, said Ms Gan.
“In the case of the alleged impostor, protocol was followed. She claimed that she had forgotten her identity card, but was able to mention two patient identifiers, namely the full name and NRIC number, which were verified against existing records,” she said.
“Our staff allowed a once-off exception for her to see the doctor as she was sick, but had made a note of this exception in the system.”
Ms Gan added that the outstanding bill has been cancelled, and NHGP has alerted its clinics of the incident.
Ms Ng told Wanbao she does not know how her personal information was leaked, and said that she did not lose her IC or driver’s licence. However, she often participates in supermarket lucky draws, which require information including her name and NRIC number, and suspects this might be where the impostor got her details from.