Police Investigating Errant CHAS Claims By 10 Clinics: MOH

We’re all probably guilty of keng-ing illness to get an MC. But it seems like the ‘keng culture’ has spread to some of our neighbourhood clinics too.

The Ministry of Health (MOH) has announced on Monday (8 Oct), that they will be suspending 10 clinics across Singapore for “severe non-compliance” involving the Community Health Assist Scheme (CHAS) subsidies.

Source

Thanks to the errant CHAS claims made by some doctors, the patients of Access Medical Clinics will no longer get CHAS subsidies for their visits from 23 Oct.

Put simply, even if they have chronic conditions, treatment will no longer be subsidised at these 10 locations.

What is CHAS?

CHAS allows Singaporeans from lower to middle income households, and Pioneer Generation patients, to receive medical & dental subsidies.

Currently, 1.3 million patients across Singapore are eligible to receive such CHAS subsidies.

Over 1,000 private General Practitioners (GPs) and 700 dental clinics across our island are part of the CHAS eco-system.

So having 10 clinics suspended under the scheme, is actually a pretty big deal.

10 Access Clinics suspended islandwide

Here’s the complete list of the clinics suspended:

  • Access (Bedok South)
  • Access (Circuit Road)
  • Access (East Coast)
  • Access (Kim Keat)
  • Access (Marine Terrace)
  • Access (Toa Payoh)
  • Access (Whampoa)
  • Access (Jurong West)
  • Access (Redhill Close)
  • Access (Bukit Batok)

If you’re affected by the suspension, MOH advises you to check the CHAS website, to seek alternative clinics.

For the clinics’ regulars, you should have already been informed of the suspension as MOH’s notice was issued on 8 Oct.

A 15-day written notice was given to each clinic, in order to give them time to inform their patients to make “alternative arrangements”.

Claims submitted without evidence or time stamps

MOH’s audit revealed “numerous non-compliant” claims, made by these 10 Access clinics.

These included claims for patient visits, or chronic conditions without supporting documents, over ambiguous time periods.

Some doctors from the clinics will be subject to further investigation by the Singapore Medical Council.

Unclear how many patients affected

MOH further revealed that “public feedback” was given to them about Access Medical Clinics’ practices.

These ‘tip-offs’ could have spelled the end for the dubious practices at these clinics.

However, it remains unclear how many patients will be affected by the suspension.

The Health Ministry won’t be able to comment on the “number of claims” or “share details” about the cases, since it has been “referred to the police”.

Abusing a doctor-patient relationship for personal gain

We hope that MOH will continue to be vigilant against malpractices and cases of non-compliance.

It’s a real pity that these doctors & clinics under investigation may have “abused the doctor-patient relationship for personal gain”.

But we’re certain the police will be able to uncover the truth behind the matter soon, so patients can still access much-needed subsidies for treatment at their preferred neighbourhood clinics.

Featured image from Google Maps.