Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Private hospitals must also post price lists

Tue, May 04, 2010
The Straits Times
By Salma Khalik, Health Correspondent

THE full costs of treatments at private hospitals, which are now mostly opaque to the public, will be made known from next year
The Ministry of Health (MOH) is getting tough on the hospitals to share the sizes of their bills, by requiring that they state the full bill if patients want to make Medisave claims.

This means that patients will be able to compare prices between both the private and public hospitals, which already supply information on bills for 70 procedures. Private hospitals now provide sizes of bills for only about a dozen treatments.

The bill sizes, updated monthly, are available at http://www.moh.gov.sg/mohcorp/billsize.aspx?id=302 on the MOH website. They get some 7,000 page views each month.

Giving patients information to help them decide where to go for treatment has been a key ambition of Health Minister Khaw Boon Wan, who set the ball rolling seven years ago with selected procedures at public hospitals.

The private sector has been slow to come on board, arguing, among other things, that their billing is more complicated, with doctors presenting their own bills to patients.

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