Mr Ray, 65, underwent a treatment for lingering red rashes on his scalp at Changi General Hospital (CGH) in July. He has been particularly unsatisfied with the charges applied for the drug injected.
During the treatment session, he discovered the very product that he was injected with was being sold online at US$3.98 (about S$5.39) per injection – the hospital, however, charged him S$210 for seven jabs on his scalp. However, upon being contacted, CGH denied the allegation.
In an email to The Independent, the 65-year-old stated that he was curious about the drug that was handed to him by the nurse before the procedures. He conducted a quick search online of “Abotte Triamcinolone at 40mg/ml,” according to what was listed on the bottle’s label.
To his surprise, an identical product was listed at US$3.98 per injection, and US$19.65 for 6 injections.
Mr Ray wrote that a bottle “could easily dispense 15 shots” and that the CGH nurse simply discarded the remaining drug, after the prescribed seven injections, due to contamination concerns.
“Each injection on the spot took less than 4 seconds and the whole procedure was over in less than 30 seconds. I was billed $210 @ $30 per shot. A 40ml bottle of original Abbott, same as the one used by CGH, injection costs only USD 3.98 and could easily dispense 15 shots. Why our public hospitals resort to such unscrupulous profiteering?”
According to Mr Ray, he no longer wants to go through the hassles of clarification with CGH as his past experience with hospitals and polyclinics have been largely “unsatisfactory”.
According to Mr Ray, his condition of red rashes across his scalp have been lingering for over ten years, without noticeable improvements, despite countless treatments at CGH.
In order to verify with CGH, The Independent contacted them through an email since last Thursday. After providing several contacts who were unable to assist with the case, Cherry Lui, assistant manager of corporate affairs phoned and asserted that the drug injected was not identical to what patient claimed to be. Ms Lui also indicated on Tuesday (17 Oct) that a medical proof will be sent in soon. However, there has not been a further update received yet.
Mr Ray then commented on Tuesday, after learning the response from CGH, “the drug triamcinolone comes in various brands and the cost shouldn’t be this far off.”
He also jokingly remarked that, “they may come back to you in 5 years later, haha.”
This article has been edited since it was first published after verifying the facts with CGH.