The following is a Facebook post by the Ministry oh Health (MOH).
MOH did not say ‘nothing wrong’
ST’s article today (9 Aug) “’Nothing wrong’ with doc’s separate billing for 2 illnesses” misrepresented MOH. At no time did MOH say that there was ‘nothing wrong’ with the practice of the clinic concerned in this specific instance. These words were inserted by ST.
When ST journalist Ms Salma Khalik approached MOH for comment on this case, we asked for the clinic’s name and patient’s bills so as to review the details of case. She did not accede to our request. As a result, MOH could only provide a general reply which explains what GPs typically take into account in their charging. At no time did we make specific comments on this specific case since we do not have details to enable us to do so. Sadly, ST wrongly attributed MOH as having said that there was ‘nothing wrong’ with the clinic’s practice in this instance.
Now that we have the clinic’s identity, MOH will be reviewing the case. For information, the following was the reply which we provided to Ms Salma.
“GPs are private providers within our larger healthcare system. Clinic charging varies across clinics and patients, depending on multiple factors. These may include the complexity of the patient’s condition, the length of consultation, the type of treatment and medication provided, and the cost structure of the clinic, including rental and other overhead costs. Clinics are encouraged to display their common charges like consultation fees prominently in their clinics, and provide itemised receipts to patients. However, clinics have the prerogative to deviate from displayed charges, where justifiable. We also encourage patients to clarify with the clinics about their charges when in doubt, in order to minimise misunderstanding.”