Exorbitant fees for visiting a GP at new HDB estates

December 16, 2014
Singapore Democrats

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Hi SDP,

I would like to share my personal experience.

I ate some unclean food at my office canteen and had a bad case of food poisoning. I decided to visit a family doctor located at a newly BTO HDB estate (as I had shifted 6 months ago).

To my horror, my bill came up to $71 (I have attached this bill below). It made me wonder whether it’s just because our doctors have no ethics nowadays, or that the leases for HDB shop houses had become very high for these neighbourhood GPs so much so that they are unable to survive without charging patients such fees.

Our healthcare cost is getting so much more expensive now. If this was the rate for consulting a GP at an HDB clinic, I suspect it would be a lot more expensive had I went to the hospital instead.

One might think why I didn’t go to a polyclinic? I couldn’t go to a polyclinic after office hours, unless I waited till the next morning. By then, I would have been dehydrated from all the vomiting. All I needed was some pills to stop vomiting and some re-hydration salts.

I have asked around as the last time I’d seen a doctor was 3 yrs ago, and I may not be aware of the recent market rates. However, people have been telling me it is very normal nowadays for patients to pay about $40 for a GP, and in some new estates the fee can go up to $70.

For the medication given to me, I realised that all the medicines I was prescribed can actually be purchased from the pharmacist in any pharmacy.

This is so unlike the family doctor in the old estate whom I used to visit. This family doctor of mine purchased medicines in bulk and packaged them into small bottles to help patients to save cost.

He used to charge me only $25 max inclusive of medication.

Louis Yee