Cheap Versus Expensive Medical Bills

I got up early on a Saturday morning unusually. It was all for the money spending trip at Singapore General Hospital (SGH) again for my medication appointment.

During the visit to the medical centre in Stagmont Camp some months ago, the medical officer (MO) helped me to schedule an appointment with the specialist as to get a letter to downgrade me permanently.

I managed to walk to SGH within half an hour’s time. I did not have good impression with the management since I had to spend at least an hour to wait there each time and that the specialists were not very caring.

This time round, I only waited for around ten minutes before I could get into the room, which was a great improvement, but however, could be because my appointment was one of the earliest.

The doctor was Dr Thiruchelvam Jegathesan. I should have mentioned about the weakness in my knees but I was suddenly too lost for words. Apart from the main problem, which was my back, I told him about my suspicious of having bone spurs on my feet but he claimed it was not very likely. In the end, I told him that the MO wanted the memo from him and he sent me out of the room while typing it out for me. It was a short and sweet letter, but however, the contents might not be a strong backup for permanent downgrade…

“Dear colleague kindly downgrade the above mentioned patient to his prov Pes status of C2L2 due to his chronic back pain secondary to Mild disc bulging at L4/5 and Subarachnoid cyst involving the left S2 nerve root. Thank you. .”

Compared to my elder brother’s letter from Geneagles Hospital, it was nothing. His specialist wrote a very detailed and strong letter for downgrading him, which I was very impressed. I could see the big difference between private and government hospitals – private hospitals would put the patient’s interest at the first place whereas government hospitals would reduce time wastage and also, not taking too much responsibility.

At least, this was the first time ever a specialist from SGH would dare or bother to help me write a letter to ask for downgrade. It was a better experience at SGH and I hoped I would not call it “Singapore Waiting Hospital” again in future.

I paid for $25, whereas my brother paid around $80 for the consultation.

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