A Singaporean has expressed his unhappiness over not being allowed to use the funds in his Medisave account to pay for the registration bill at Ng Teng Fong General Hospital’s (NTFGH) Accident and Emergency Department (A&E).

In a Facebook post published on Tuesday (4 June), socio-political commentator Simon Lim wrote that he was referred to NTFGH’s A&E by a general practitioner who provided him with a referral letter.

When Mr Lim arrived at the registration counter, he was asked to pay S$120 and was not allowed to use his Medisave savings to pay for the bill. Revealing that he was told that he could not tap on his Medisave savings unless he was admitted, Mr Lim said that he eventually paid with a card.

Asking whether he would have been refused treatment if he did not have the means to pay the S$120 without his Medisave, Mr Lim wrote: “My unhappiness is that why was I unable to use my medisave savings to pay for my A&E visit? I stress that was an A&E visit and not a regular visit. How often do people visit the A&E departments of hospitals to seek medical treatments?

“What if I didn’t have $120/? Would my medical treatment be denied? People work and save over the years for medical care and expenses and when the occasion arises for them to seek medical treatments, especially when the treatments are at local public hospitals, I strongly feel that people shouldn’t be denied the use of their own medisave savings.”

Asking what medisave savings are then meant for, Mr Lim said that while he agrees that Medisave savings should be used prudently, “prudence shouldn’t be used as a convenient blanket pretext to deny their legitimate usage. At the very least, 50% of the registration cost should be medisave eligible.”

Asserting that such “unfair” policies should be “exposed, highlighted and put right,” Mr Lim urged his fellow citizens to better understand their rights. Read his post in full here:

I am unhappy with an experience that I had at Ng Teng Fong Hospital (NTFH) today. Let me explain.I was referred by a…

Posted by Simon Lim on Tuesday, 4 June 2019

The Independent has contacted NTFGH for comment and will update this story once we receive a response. -/TISG