Hospital bills: JurongHealth replies

We thank Mr Lo Chock Fei for his feedback ("Rein in rising costs at restructured hospitals"; Aug 1).

When JurongHealth took over the management of Alexandra Hospital (AH) in 2010, we generally maintained AH's fees as much as we could, with only slight adjustments in prices, in order to mitigate the impact of rising costs on existing patients.

Ng Teng Fong General Hospital (NTFGH) provides a wider range of facilities and services for patients, as well as newer and better amenities. We have adjusted our charges to be more in line with our costs, and our charges are similar to the other public hospitals.

JurongHealth is conscious of the need to manage healthcare costs to ensure affordability for our patients.

Measures to do so include participating in group procurement with the rest of the public healthcare sector, to reap economies of scale and obtain the best value for standard medication and medical supplies.

Government subsidies help to ensure affordability for patients.

In the case of Mr Lo, whose treatment at NTFGH was $27.78 before subsidy, he paid $3.77 (compared with $2.43 at AH previously) after government subsidy and the additional Pioneer Generation subsidy.

For patients who require further assistance with their subsidised healthcare bills, our medical social workers are also on hand to assist them.

We share Mr Lo's concern about the affordability of healthcare and have since contacted him to assure him that we would continue to try our best to improve productivity and manage costs.

Casey Chang (Ms)
Communications and Service Quality

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 13, 2015, with the headline 'Hospital bills: JurongHealth replies'. Print Edition | Subscribe