We thank Mr Ling Diung Kwong for his letter (SGH's method for calculating ward charges troubling; Forum Online, March 21).
We would like to clarify that hospitals' ward charges are not based on the number of hours spent in the ward, but by number of days.
Generally, interim bills are given to patients to provide an indication of the charges incurred during the stay.
The finalised bill will only be sent after the consolidation of the services rendered and after processing the claims from the Central Provident Fund Board, such as Medisave or MediShield Life, or from their insurance company.
In Mr Ling's case, the bill that he had requested was an interim bill which showed the charge for a two-day stay, as the length of stay was computed based on two calendar days - the day of admission and the day of discharge.
As Mr Ling's wife was discharged before the designated check-out time at 10am the length of stay was recomputed to reflect a one-day stay.
Patients who check out after 1pm are charged an additional day's rate.
We have since contacted Mr Ling to explain that the final bill for his wife correctly shows the charge for a one-day stay and that he will be receiving the bill soon.
Patients who have queries about their hospital bills can approach Singapore General Hospital's Business Office, located at block 4, level 1, for assistance.
Ong Mei Ling (Ms)
Assistant Director, Business Office
Singapore General Hospital