Channel NewsAsia

More information on public hospitals' operation fees to be made available

Newly-appointed Minister of State for Health, Dr Lam Pin Min, said the information is provided with the aim of making medical costs more transparent.

SINGAPORE: Newly-appointed Minister of State for Health, Dr Lam Pin Min, has said that the public will be able to get more information on their total operation charges at public hospitals, but not in private hospitals.

He revealed this at the opening ceremony of the 10th Asia Pacific Congress in Maternal Fetal Medicine on Friday (Aug 22).

He said the information is provided with the aim of making medical costs more transparent. Since 2003, the Health Ministry (MOH) has been publishing the total treatment costs for 80 common conditions in both public and private hospitals, and total operation fees for public hospitals will be a new component under this cost.

Dr Lam added that the operation fees are for surgeon, anaesthetist and facility charges, but the charges for each area will not be revealed.

It was earlier announced that the total operation fees will be published from September.

"Publishing such data for both unsubsidised and subsidised patients in our public hospitals will serve as a useful point of reference on procedure-related professional fees which are applicable to both public and private sector healthcare providers. MOH will continue to work to extend transparency of healthcare charges to facilitate informed decision-making by patients," said Dr Lam.

The congress saw about 600 medical professionals - including specialist doctors and allied health workers - gathering to discuss the latest developments, best practices and research findings in maternal fetal medicine.

There was also a trade exhibition displaying innovative advancements, such as non-invasive prenatal testing. This involves doing blood sample analysis to determine genetic disorders in the foetus. 

Tweet photos, videos and updates on this story to  @channelnewsasia