SINGAPORE - A dental clinic in Orchard will be terminated from the Community Health Assist Scheme (Chas) scheme after it was found to have made numerous improper claims for government subsidies.
These claims made by Jesselton Dental Centre at Pacific Plaza exceeded the allowed limit for Chas subsidies and were not accompanied with proper supporting documentation, said the Ministry of Health (MOH) on Wednesday (Jan 13).
"Audits on Jesselton Dental Centre conducted in late-2018 to 2019 revealed severe non-compliances," said the MOH.
The termination was issued on Dec 10 and will take effect from this Saturday (Jan 16). The MOH advised affected patients to visit other nearby Chas-accredited dental clinics instead.
In response to queries from The Straits Times, a Jesselton Dental Centre spokesman said on Wednesday (Jan 13) that the claims were submitted by an administrative staff and a member of the clinic’s management team between 2017 and 2018.
Both of them were let go immediately after they were found to have made the claims.
“We are working alongside the authorities to remedy the situation. Our patients always come first,” the spokesman said.
MOH said it was informed last April by the clinic in Scotts Road that its ownership and licensee had changed hands from Resilient Healthcare Group to Alliance Management Group.
"This cessation of Resilient Healthcare Group Pte Ltd as the licensee, coupled with the extent of Jesselton Dental Centre's non-compliance, made the termination of the clinic from Chas necessary," it said.
"MOH will continue to investigate the clinic even with the change in ownership."
Provided that its dentists hold valid registration and practising certificates from the Singapore Dental Council, the clinic can still treat patients, but the treatment it provides will not be covered by Chas subsidies.
The Health Ministry added that Alliance Management Group has applied for Chas accreditation for the clinic.
"MOH encourages patients to actively engage their doctors and dentists if they have any queries on their bills," said the ministry.
"We also remind healthcare professionals to uphold a high standard of professionalism and adhere to their ethical code and ethical guidelines."
In October 2019, two dentists from Phoenix Dental Surgery clinic became the first to be charged with cheating Chas. Teo Eu Gene pleaded guilty to 25 counts of cheating by submitting false Chas claims for dental procedures and was sentenced to 46 weeks' jail. His former colleague, Andy Joshua Warren, faced similar charges.
To check the Chas claims made on their behalf, Chas, Pioneer Generation and Merdeka Generation cardholders can log in to the "My Chas" module on the Chas website, or by calling the Chas hotline on 1800-275-2427.
They can also contact MOH if they come across any suspicious or unusual claims by calling the ministry on 1800-225-4122 or by e-mailing MOH_QSM@moh.gov.sg