MP He Ting Ru

Ms He Ting Ru asked the Minister for Health in relation to patients seeking treatment or requiring to be hospitalised at the restructured hospitals (a) what is the policy as to whether a deposit has to be placed with the hospital before commencing procedures or treatment; (b) whether there is a standardised amount as to the size of the deposit; (c) what are the differences in policy between Singapore Citizens, residents and foreign patients; and (d) whether exceptions are made for cases of medical exigencies.

Mr Ong Ye Kung: My response will also cover the matters raised in the written question by Ms He Ting Ru on today’s Order Paper. 

Under current MOH guidelines, restructured hospitals are not to collect deposits from subsidised Singapore Citizens for non-elective inpatient treatments and day surgery procedures which are claimable under MediShield Life and/or MediSave. There are exceptions, such as where patients refuse to settle long-standing bills despite having the means to do so. 

For elective procedures which are claimable through MediShield Life and/or MediSave, restructured hospitals may collect a small deposit of no more than $50. This is to discourage no-shows and avoid wastage of hospital resources. Deposits may also be collected from Permanent Residents, foreigners and Singapore Citizens who opt for private care. The amount of deposit to be collected is generally based on the remaining out-of-pocket cost, after accounting for MediShield Life coverage, MediSave, employment coverage and private insurance.

Where patients have difficulty in affording the deposit, restructured hospitals may waive the deposit for them or explore provision of financial assistance. In the event of medical exigencies, no individual will be denied timely treatment, regardless of citizenship status.

MOH does not track data on the number of procedures or treatments postponed or cancelled due to an inability to put up the required deposit.

Ministry of Health
10 January 2023

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