Health Ministry to publish total operation fees for public hospitals only

Khoo Teck Puat Hospital in November 2012. The Health Ministry (MOH) will start publishing total operation fees for public hospitals only, Minister of State for Health Lam Pin Min said on Friday. -- PHOTO: ST FILE
Khoo Teck Puat Hospital in November 2012. The Health Ministry (MOH) will start publishing total operation fees for public hospitals only, Minister of State for Health Lam Pin Min said on Friday. -- PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - The Health Ministry (MOH) will start publishing total operation fees for public hospitals only, Minister of State for Health Lam Pin Min said on Friday.

These fees - which make up part of the total hospital bill - consist of surgeon, anaesthetist, and facility fees. However, the Ministry will not be providing a fee break-down.

The Ministry announced its intention to start publishing these fees next month in a statement last Saturday. Currently, it only publishes total hospital bills for 80 common conditions in both public and private hospitals.

As most public hospital doctors are paid a salary by their employers, "there is no direct link between the total operation fee and doctors' salaries," Dr Lam said.

"Therefore, the data will not be further broken down into the various components, including what would have been called 'doctors' fees' in the private sector."

Speaking at the Asia Pacific Congress in Maternal Fetal Medicine, Dr Lam also said that MOH is working with public hospitals to set up medical device committees to "ensure rational selection and utilisation of new medical devices".

He also highlighted recent concerns over how some doctors practise and charge for their services, saying that a consultation paper to review doctors' ethical and professional framework is currently being drafted.