High-charging hospital slashes fees


TALK about instant action. On Monday, Alexandra Hospital did not look too good when the Health Ministry released a list of charges for 28 hospital treatments. 

It was found charging subsidised patients the highest prices for the three most common treatments. 

But within 24 hours, the hospital moved to slash prices for two procedures, and assured patients that it had already cut charges for the third. 

Down went the bill for gastroscopies: S$175 (RM385) on Tuesday, S$125 (RM275) yesterday.  

Down went the charge for colonoscopies: from S$320 (RM704) to S$280 (RM616). 

The charge for cataract surgery, which the ministry listed as costing S$1,051 (RM2,312.20) at Alexandra, was cut to S$830 (RM1,626) two weeks ago. 

The hospital said it managed to cut the cost of cataract surgery after buying in bulk a lens needed for the surgery through a group purchasing scheme.  

The spokesman said the price used to be high because Alexandra did not enjoy economies of scale. Over the last 12 months, it did just over 400 of the 11,600 cataract operations in the public sector. 

These three procedures were highlighted by the press as they affect over 30,000 patients a year. – The Straits Times/Asia News Network  

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