2 dental clinics suspended from Chas scheme for making false claims, flouting guidelines: MOH

Phoenix Dental Surgery's clinic at Ang Mo Kio Avenue 8.
Phoenix Dental Surgery's clinic at Ang Mo Kio Avenue 8. PHOTO: PHOENIX DENTAL SURGERY/FACEBOOK

SINGAPORE - Two dental clinics will be suspended from participating in the Community Health Assist Scheme (Chas) for making false claims and flouting guidelines, in the first such case here.

The suspension will take effect from July 8, the Ministry of Health (MOH) said in a press release on Wednesday (June 22).

Phoenix Dental Surgery clinics in Ang Mo Kio and Marine Parade had continuously made claims that did not comply with MOH's rules and guidelines, according to audits conducted by the ministry.

These included a number of claims for procedures that were not performed.

Both clinics were informed of the audit findings last month.

MOH has referred the matter to police for investigation into possible criminal offences.

Chas is a nationwide programme that allows Singaporeans from lower- to middle-income households, as well as all Pioneer Generation (PG) Singaporeans, to receive subsidies for medical and dental care at participating general practitioners and dental clinics.

There are more than 600 Chas dental clinics where patients can seek treatment.

"MOH takes a serious view of such errant practices," said the MOH statement. "MOH will review the situation, taking into consideration the status of the police investigations, before considering if the clinics can resume their participation in Chas."

The clinics will have to prove to the ministry that they have taken steps to rectify its past non-compliancesand ensure future compliance.

Dentists at the clinics, meanwhile, can continue to practise in accordance with their registration with the Singapore Dental Council. However, treatments that they perform at the clinics during the suspension will not be eligible for the Chas subsidy.

Both clinics have also been asked to inform their Chas and PG patients they can no longer benefit from the subsidies.

The public can access the full list of Chas dental clinics through the "Clinic Locator" on the Chas website, or via the Chas hotline on 1800-275-2427.

Chas or PG cardholders who wish to check the Chas subsidies that clinics have claimed for them can do so by logging in to the "My Chas" module on the Chas website or call the Chas hotline.

They can also contact MOH if they come across any suspicious or unusual claims.