Feb 21, 2006I wonder if any doctors read my blog. Maybe they can comment.
High prices for common drugs in HDB heartland
MY CHILD was sick, down with a bad cough, sore throat, runny nose and a slight fever on Feb 16. At 9pm, our family doctor had left so we went to another private clinic - 'Street 11 Clinic' at Block 139 Tampines Street 11.
After a brief consultation, she was given these medicines: cough syrup (one bottle, 'Dhasedyl, 90ml'); a packet of 'Danzen' (20 tablets, 5mg) for the throat; 'Telfast D' (10 tablets) for runny nose and antibiotics 'Klacid MR' (five 500mg tablets for throat and nose).
I was astonished when I received the bill. These medicines cost me $80. I am puzzled at the high cost because I believe that my daughter's symptoms were fairly common and she was treated by a locum.
I feel the clinic had either overcharged and jacked up the price of common drugs, or did it give me unnecessarily expensive drugs for a common illness?
I asked the receptionist for a breakdown of the cost of the various medicines. To my surprise, the staff informed me that the five antibiotic tablets alone cost $37.
I believe Health Minister Khaw Boon Wan had mentioned that affordable medicines be provided for patients at reasonable prices. Yet the clinic in our heartlands is charging drugs such as 'Klacid MR' at an exorbitant price. This is a worrying problem which I hope can be addressed to benefit the masses.
Gan Siok Wah (Mdm)
This reminds me of one of my old posts - where I wrote about a 92-year-old man who was charged $64 for a common cold and fever. His son-in-law related this to Health Minister Khaw Boon Wan who replied that Singaporeans should help their older relatives pay their medical bills.
That really wasn't very helpful.
I'm also reminded of another post I previously wrote, about foreign workers in Singapore going to see an unlicensed "doctor" operating an illegal medical practice somewhere in Little India. In response, the Health Ministry advised these workers not to see such practitioners and instead have "medical insurance coverage to protect themselves".
Ridiculous. If these foreign workers could afford to buy medical insurance from AIA or Prudential or NTUC Income, then they wouldn't be foreign workers.
What say you, Mr Tan Kin Lian?