Denied Shield claim for minor surgery at specialist clinic

I accompanied my mother to see a Singapore National Eye Centre specialist last December regarding a small growth on her inner left eyelid.

On examining my mother, the specialist recommended that she undergo minor surgery to remove the growth and have it sent for a biopsy.

The doctor did the operation in the specialist clinic.

As my mother was insured with IncomeShield and the doctor had advised that she undergo the surgery, I filed the claim.

Regretfully, the claim was rejected by Income, which said that it was a minor procedure carried out at the specialist outpatient clinic.

As there was no surgical table or code for the procedure, it was taken as treatment on an outpatient basis, with no relevance to hospital admission or day surgery.

To many members of the public, surgery is surgery.

It would not occur to them to ask if there is going to be a surgical table or code.

If minor surgery can be done at a specialist clinic at a lower cost, why should the patient be disadvantaged and not be able to claim because there was no surgical table or code?

Such bureaucracy might encourage patients to choose more expensive options of surgery in hospitals, and this will inadvertently inflate the cost of healthcare and health insurance.

Angela Wee (Ms)

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 11, 2017, with the headline 'Denied Shield claim for minor surgery at specialist clinic'. Print Edition | Subscribe