A few months ago, I visited a dental clinic in the HDB heartland and told the dentist plainly that I just needed my teeth to be scaled and polished.
After the treatment, I was shocked when I was handed a dental brush, two bottles of mouthwash, and a bill totalling $346. The X-ray procedure came to $175. With the Community Health Assist Scheme (Chas) subsidy of $126, my cash payment was $220.
A dentist should always inform the patient of the proposed treatment and offer any reasonable alternative so that the patient is involved in treatment decisions.
In this case, the dentist just gave orders to the nurse to take an X-ray. I was not consulted and the dentist did not seek my permission.
The mouthwash and toothbrush are also available for much less at a pharmacy.
Every profession owes society the responsibility to regulate itself. Such regulation is achieved through the influence of the professional societies.
Professionals have a duty to be transparent in their dealings with their clients and patients.
Heng Cho Choon