Dear Editors

I refer to the article “Many not following up after health screening” (Straits Times, Mar 27). It states that “Even after red flags show up in a health screening, it can take a lot to get people to see a doctor for a proper check-up. Medical groups which run health screenings say a significant proportion of people who need to follow up on their screening do not do so.

1 in 4 never return

SingHealth, which runs six to eight screenings a year, says one in four people who were screened between July 2015 and the same month last year had not returned for a doctor’s follow-up after a year. Healthcare professionals say many people do not see their results as being serious enough to warrant a doctor’s visit, or do not want any medication. Some say they are too busy. Dr Emily Ho, director (clinical) of the SingHealth Regional Health System, said: “Some prefer to control their conditions on their own, via diet and exercise.””

Scared not enough money?

As to “Some are scared to go in case the doctor detects something abnormal, and they have to spend money to treat it,” Dr Kalpana said. Not dealing with such ailments early leads to more money being spent when the conditions worsen” – these remarks may have highlighted one of the reasons why people may be reluctant to go for follow-up treatment – the reality or perception that healthcare may not be affordable?

Class C bill size 95th percentile – $24,465?

According to the Ministry of Health’s (MOH) web site – the Average Hospital Inpatient Bill Size Table — Public Hospitals – Surgical Specialties (Jan 2015 – Dec 2015) – Class C (Open Ward) – Total Bill at 95th Percentile at the National Heart Centre was $24,465.

5% pay more than $24,465?

So, does this mean that five per cent of patients had a bill size of more than $24,465? How affordable is healthcare? Since this is the lowest class ward – what are your thoughts on how affordable healthcare is in Singapore?

Leong Sze Hian

Check Also

Police Make TikTok Videos Got Help To Reduce Crime Meh? Don’t Wayang Lah!

Be it violence on streets, ill-treatment of domestic workers, online scams, start-up frauds, drug-related activities, …