A member of the public took to social media to complain about the deposit fee for booking a follow-up appointment at a clinic.

According to a visitor to the Singapore National Skin Centre, patients couldn’t book their next visit at the counter if a S$10 deposit fee was not paid.

“This is the first time I came across this from a government medical care facility,” wrote the concerned individual who shared his experience on Facebook group Complaint Singapore on Wednesday (Nov 2).

He noted that the S$10 dollars, when multiplied by the usual number of patients, “is a lot” of money collected, which the clinic would refund when the patient’s skin problem was treated.

“From my understanding, eczema can never be cured and is a life-long treatment,” said the patient referring to his condition.

He added that those who don’t pay the deposit needed to make an “open booking” by calling the clinic and reserving a non-priority appointment date, which may be very late in the future.

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Other group members also found the deposit system to be “ridiculous”.

“Today, we claim how high-tech we are in our system as this deposit requirement is certainly out of place. If this is meant for additional cash generation, then at least not in public clinics,” said a Facebook user who confirmed a similar deposit at a polyclinic for dental services.

Meanwhile, there were also netizens who supported the deposit collection, which places more gravity on a booking.

“I totally support this move. You have no idea how many people book for fun. It’s the same as a bakery asking for payment first before baking your desired cake or a jewellery store collecting 50 per cent payment or a small deposit first before making the wedding bands,” wrote Facebook user Nicole Tan Yu Xin.

Another Facebook user, Brenden Gurusamy noted that there were many cases of patients making an appointment and not turning up on the scheduled date. “This deprives others of getting an appointment slot. My view is to collect the deposit but offset it against the cost on the day of the appointment.” /TISG

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ByHana O