Saturday, July 16, 2011

No deposit needed if Medisave can be used: NUH

11 July 2011

Straits Times
(c) 2011 Singapore Press Holdings Limited

FROM our records, Mr Shahnawaz Saleem had requested the non-subsidised Class A1 ward for his child's admission, similar to a previous admission.

For patients who choose a non-subsidised ward, a deposit is usually required unless the patient's
insurance, employee benefits and Medisave (subject to withdrawal limits) are sufficient to cover the
estimated hospitalisation charges.

Mr Shahnawaz had indicated that he would not use Medisave for this admission. As we did not have
details of the quantum of his insurance coverage, to ascertain if it would cover the estimated
hospitalisation bill without the use of Medisave, Mr Shahnawaz was asked to furnish a deposit.

Our staff would generally advise that a refund may take up to two months if it involves Medisave or insuranc e claims which need to be processed. For a previous admission where Mr Shahnawaz had used
his Medisave, the refund was made three weeks after his child's discharge.

Mr Shahnawaz asked what would happen if the hospital does not have available beds in the lower-class
wards and a patient cannot afford the hospital deposit.

Patients who choose subsidised wards are not required to furnish a deposit unless the estimated
hospitalisation bill is higher than the Medisave withdrawal limits or if the funds in the Medisave account
are insufficient.

Despite this, patients needing emergency care and who have financial difficulty will still be admitted if
the medical condition warrants so. If the choice of ward type is temporarily unavailable, the patient will
be cared for at the accident and emergency department and admitted to the ward as soon as the
assigned bed is available.

On the rare occasion where waiting time for the bed is expected to be exceptionally long, such as when
there is a surge in demand due to the unpredictable nature of emergencies, we will make arrangements
for the patient to be transferred to another restructured hospital which can offer a bed in the chosen
ward type.

We thank Mr Shahnawaz for the opportunity to address his concerns and would like to apologise for any
misunderstanding that may have arisen from his interaction with our staff.

Ang Kwok Ann
Director, Finance
National University Hospital

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