Doctor calls KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital’s urgent care rates “discriminatory”


Writing in a newspaper forum, Michelle Liang Weiting – a doctor – took umbrage with the fact that she was made to pay private patient rates at KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital (KKH), since she was attended to by a trainee doctor and not a specialist.

In her letter, the doctor expressed surprise that there is no department for emergency Obstetrics and Gynecology services at KKH, despite it being the premier hospital for women and children in the country.

She explained that there is instead an urgent Obstetrics and Gynecology centre at KKH, which is where she received treatment. This centre, unlike in other government hospitals with a flat fee for emergency care, charges private consultation fees for private patients on follow up visits, and also for patients who arrive without referral letters from polyclinics.

In other government medical facilities, when patients are attended to by board-certified qualified specialists, they are charged the usual rate for private consultations. However, when it is a trainee doctor who attends to them, they are only charged subsidized rates.

At KKH, Dr. Weiting was charged private rates despite being seen by a registrar, who is actually still undergoing training. The doctor wrote in her letter:

“Patients should not be discriminated against in an emergency setting and made to pay private rates when they are not being seen by a specialist.
“In other government hospitals, the emergency departments charge a flat fee, regardless of previous or current class status.”

She called this practice discriminatory, and added:

“The way that KKH has restructured its charges for the urgent O&G centre makes charging discriminatory against private patients, who are made to pay private rates without being given the specialist consult they are paying for.”

Netizens responding to the letter called on the Ministry of Health to look into the issue:


  1. Government own self say own self good , every time when come to our complain sure many excuses , our Hospital worse wait until we die the appointment still never reply , my daughter make appointment and they say at lease 3 days after 3 days no reply ??? Our system getting worse old PAP is working for Singaporean new work for themselves

  2. Discriminatory exist in our other major hospitals. Imagine one having the told the nurse at the payment counter he qualifies for special subsidy and have made an application. He was transferred to a new doctor and no longer is to see the doctor who was attending to him for the past 2 years. Now when you see a specialist clinic in order to qualify for subsidy one has to first visit a Polyclinic to get a referral. Wonder if this is ever necessary? Now if you are patient fully covered with insurance you are classified a “private” patient and hence if you will automatically disqualified from receiving subsidy. Now is this fair to Insurance companies? Just because one is fully covered by insurance one no longer entitled to subsidy. Subsidy is an entitlement and the benefit the patient as well the insurance that one is covered. Something is strangely wrong.

  3. With the millionare salary doubt the govt pappies go to public hospital so do they know what going on in the public hospital or rather do they care about the problem people are facing at public hospital except opening ceremony cutting ribbon then you see the fface and the stupid security guards preventing people from walking near, you think the people want to go near and smell their stinking f

  4. Govt hospital is really bad. Yes agree re subsidies given but stimes they do not have sense of urgency. Recently had bad experience at NG Teng Fong a&e when acc colleague there. Really crap service.

    NUH overall still ok,but still very puzzled why do i have to pay them when they asked for my old MRI films for their record purpose? am providing them my history records from Mt E.
    KKH.. oly been once when i gave birth to son that…other than those i go to MT E. Fast good service and problem rectified.