CLASS C HOSPITAL BILLS UP BY AS MUCH AS 146%?

Patients choosing C-class increased from 26 to 46% 

According to the Straits Times news report “More patients choosing C-class wards for subsidies” (Jul 18) – “In 2000, 26 per cent of all public hospital patients opted for C class. Last year, 46 per cent did so.

Combined with B2 class, the proportion of public hospital patients choosing subsidised care went up from 70 per cent of the total number in 2000, or 194,000 patients, to 80 per cent last year, or 272,000 patients.

Means testing

Patients can choose any class ward, but the amount of subsidy they enjoy depends on their salary or value of their home; this ranges from 50 to 65 per cent for B2 and 65 to 80 per cent for C class.”

As to “For example, the median bill for a patient admitted to the Singapore General Hospital (SGH) with uncomplicated pneumonia is $2,661 in A class and $612 in C class.

SGH Class C average bill increased 105%

If it is for a major procedure such as a heart bypass, the median bill for an A-class patient at the National Heart Centre (NHC) is $32,037, compared with just $4,277 in C class” – according to the Ministry of Health’s (MOH) web site – the SGH Class C Average Total Bill in 2013 was $2,820, compared to $1,377 in 2006.

This is an increase of about 105 per cent in the 7 years, or about 11 per cent per annum.

SGH Class C 95th percentile bill increased 146%

At the 95th percentile – the increase was from $3,622 to $8,944 – an increase of a whopping 146 per cent or 14 per cent per annum.

NHC Class C average bill increased 111%

For the NHC – the average bill increased from $3,466 to $7,322 – an increase of 111 per cent or 11 per cent per annum.

NHC Class C 95th percentile bill increased 146% to $23,485

At the 95th percentile – the increase was from $12,070 to a whopping $23,485 – an increase of 95 per cent or 10 per cent per annum.

Is it any wonder why more people are choosing lower class wards, when the cost has increased by as much as 146 per cent in the last 7 years?

Class of ward – just a matter of choice?

I also understand that in order to be admitted to Class C and B2 ward for treatment, a patient must be referred by a polyclinic, or the patient has a medical benefits card referral from a private clinic participating in the Community Health Assistance Scheme (CHAS), or was a direct Accident and Emergency (A & E) admission.

Also. when you are shown statistics for Class C and B2 only, you need to be aware that some patients may opt for Class B1 or A, because they literally “fear for their lives” due to the long waiting periods for subsidised Class C and B2 treatment

 

Win battles lose war

A.S.S. Contributor

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