Forum: Cost of hospital MRI higher than private clinic's

I am a retiree unhappy with my recent experience at Changi General Hospital (CGH).

I made an appointment with the orthopaedic department on Dec 16 to have my shoulder looked into. I did an X-ray and saw the doctor, who decided I needed a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan to ascertain the severity of a suspected rotator cuff tear.

But the earliest appointment for the MRI was in late March. I was quoted $1,450 for it.

Because my shoulder was causing me a lot of discomfort and sleepless nights, I decided to do the MRI privately. I was able to get an appointment almost immediately and did the scan for less than $600, including goods and services tax.

I am puzzled by the difference in charges between CGH and the private imaging clinic I went to. What is the basis for CGH charging so much more for a similar service?

My concern is whether, besides the MRI, general hospitals are over-charging patients for other services. I hope the hospital and the Ministry of Health will look into reviewing healthcare charges.

Lim Chuan Poh

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 20, 2019, with the headline Forum: Cost of hospital MRI higher than private clinic's. Subscribe