Patients in Singapore will soon be able to look up Government curated figures for medical procedures, to ensure that they aren’t being overcharged.
Due to be rolled out in 2018, the re-introduction of independent benchmark figures was first mooted in 2016 - when an industry led group tasked with further enhancing healthcare standards in the country recommended bringing back the guide. The original system was abolished in 2007, having been deemed anti-competitive.
Health Minister Gan Kim Yong is confident however that the new scheme will not face the same issues. He told reporters: “The main concern is about service providers coming together to set fees or guidelines. The Singapore Medical Association was the doctors themselves. This benchmark will be set by the Ministry of Health (MOH), who will be independent of the service providers.
“It is not the MOH deciding unilaterally what a reasonable fee should be. Doctors are not compelled to follow the recommendations, but may set their own fees.”
The Ministry now hopes that the plans will end the issue of health insurers being faced with rising fees, whilst also allowing patients to make more informed decisions when they are facing surgery.
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