The Straits Times
Published on Jan 16, 2013

Deduct polyclinic X-ray fees from A&E charges


HEEDING the Government's advice not to seek non-emergency treatment at hospital accident and emergency (A&E) departments, I went to see a doctor at Geylang Polyclinic when I injured my foot recently.

The X-ray showed two fractures and I was referred to the A&E department at Tan Tock Seng Hospital.

I declined the referral because I expected to wait a long time at the A&E department, but the polyclinic doctor assured me that this was not the case if I had a referral letter.

I ended up waiting for almost four hours.

I was also charged a flat fee of $99 even though I had no X-ray done at the hospital - the doctor retrieved my X-ray record from the polyclinic.

Patients with referral letters and X-rays from polyclinics should have the X-ray fees deducted from the A&E charges.

Why should patients waste time and money seeking treatment at a polyclinic when they end up paying a flat fee at hospital A&E departments upon being referred there ("Lower A&E fees for referred patients" by Mr Soh Ah Yuen; last Wednesday)?

Many would just head directly to the A&E department. No wonder waiting times there are so long.

Wong Jee Kiat (Ms)