I just discovered on 9 Oct 2015, when i went to KK hospital in an apparent emergency gynae issue as recommended by my GP, only to realise that their practice of emergency charges is not consistent with A&E depts of other public funded hospitals.
When queried, staff said that theirs is called an “O&G 24 hr clinic” and not called the A&E. Hence, walk-in patients in emergency cases are charged private rates. This info wasnt made known upfront to me until i saw my bill.
That’s not all. For the private rates, the level of medical care and service are substandard compared to a subsidised public hospital. It’s appalling that a country claiming first class trustworthy, affordable healthcare has not put any priority for women in critical need. It is not surprising then that KKH, I found out is run by a man. Staff said this isnt the first time they received such feedback from patients and they have informed Management.
No matter what its called restructured, semi government etc, this hospital is a member of SingHealth and logically should follow the same consistent practices like its other members. By the name, it gives even my GP, the impression that its a hospital that specialises in women care and is accessible to members of public similar to other emergency departments of other public hospitals.
Appears to me that my tax money is used to pay these public healthcare workers, yet in an emergency I’m automatically charged as a private patient. Their defense was that i should go polyclinic to get referral and come in as a subsidised patient. In an emergency especially if after office hours, who detours to the polyclinic and queue?
This is definitely a systemic issue which needs to be addressed. Women’s emergency issues are not limited to birth delivery or complications during pregnancies and a proper top notch public infrastructure should be accorded for women in general which comes along with a proper designated emergency facility with well equipped medical staff.