Singapore — A man of the Merdeka Generation says he had to pay more for a flu shot and a pneumonia vaccine at a government polyclinic than he would have had to had he gone to a private general practitioner (GP).
In a Facebook post to popular group Complaint Singapore, he bluntly asked: “Was I conned by Govt Polyclinic or MOH?”
He explained that he was given a booklet by a polyclinic doctor advising the elderly to sign up for the flu shot and the pneumococcal vaccine. According to the booklet, the vaccines cost S$18 and S$31 respectively for the Merdeka Generation if they went to a GP.
Thinking a polyclinic would charge less than a GP, he booked a date at a polyclinic.
“On the day of vaccinations, again I was given the same booklet. However at cashier after paying by Medisave, I was shocked that the Polyclinic charged me $46.88! (25% of $62.50)”, he wrote.
“Asking for the person in charge of the Polyclinic, a lady came and reply that the booklet shown $31 is for private GP. When I questioned her why a Govt Polyclinic is charging more than a private GP? She can’t answer n go back her office to check. On coming back, she replied that the Private GP cost not inclusive of GST yet”, he added.
But when he called a GP, he was told that S$31 was the net price.
He called the polyclinic again for an explanation, asking to be called back with answers to his questions. Twelve days later, a woman from the polyclinic called.
She explained that he was classified as Band 4 (based on household income), “thus the subsidy is 50% of the full price of $125 and then factored in my MG card of 25% subsidy. Told her that MG cards is a CHAS Card itself regardless of Household income or Annual Value of the flat and also why the private GP will charged (sic) me $31 based on my MG card. She can’t explain n said is the Govt policy!”
Frustrated, the man added that for his second shot in a year’s time, he planned to visit a private GP instead of a polyclinic.
After his long post, he added an update from MOH: “At Polyclinic, in addition to the 75% subsidy on eligible vaccinations for all Singaporean, Pioneers and MG Senior receive an additional 50% and 25% subsidy off their mean-tested vaccination bill, respectively. We noted your feedback on the post-subsidy prices for the vaccination for both settings and will take it into account in future policy reviews”.
TISG has reached out to both the resident and MOH for comment and clarification. /TISG
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