02 Aug '11, 3am

Our reader says patients are almost held to ransom by hospitals to pay the higher fees. Here's why:

ONE reason patients are saddled with hefty hospital bills is that they have to choose an A-class ward instead of the subsidised B-class ward when beds in the latter are unavailable. Consequently, they are barred from switching to B-class beds, and are saddled with hefty A-class charges. I can understand the Government's reason for barring the switch when there is a choice. But in cases where the hospital is out of B-class beds, such patients should be allowed to switch back when one becomes available. Alternatively, such 'A-class' patients should be allowed access to subsidised care for follow-up treatment. The hospital's standard reply has always been that the patient could wait till a B-class bed becomes available, or have an ambulance take him to another hospital with an available bed. However, when one's loved one is ill and in pain, the hospital's reply represents a H...

Full article: http://www.straitstimes.com/STForum/Story/STIStory_697328...

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