Forum: Measures in place to encourage appropriate charges at dental clinics

We thank Ms Png Siew Ai for her letter (Alarmed by large increase in dental charges with use of Medisave, July 16).

To keep dental costs affordable for Singaporeans, subsidised dental care services are available at more than 700 dental clinics on the Community Health Assist Scheme (Chas) and 10 polyclinics.

Also, Medisave can be used to pay for more complex and costly surgical procedures at all Medisave-accredited medical institutions offering dental services.

The Ministry of Health (MOH) has put in place measures to encourage appropriate charges at dental clinics. The average fees for selected dental procedures performed in public institutions are published on the MOH website.

These enable patients to make more informed decisions about their care and treatment, and serve as references for dental clinics. For example, the unsubsidised fees for impacted wisdom tooth surgery at our national speciality centres range between $820 and $910.

Also, there are limits on Medisave withdrawal and caps on subsidies at Chas clinics. These are tiered based on the type of dental treatment to safeguard against excessive usage. Patients should seek their respective dentists' advice on whether the medical institution is Medisave-accredited, and on the withdrawal limits that apply to the procedures they require.

We also encourage patients to actively engage their dentists if they have queries on their bills.

If members of the public have concerns over the charging practices of a particular clinic, they can contact MOH (1800-255-4122).

MOH will continue to ensure quality and affordable dental care for Singaporeans.

Cham Dao Song

Director, Finance Policy

Ministry of Health

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