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Complaint about ProHealth Medical Group charging $81 for flu

Posted by temasektimes on October 18, 2012

My friend went to the ProHealth Medical Group@Buangkok clinic on 13 Oct 2012 (Sat) at around 10.35pm for common cough consultation. She was very shock when she received the bill of $81/-.dollars. What shocked her most was the high consultation charges of $50/- dollars which was not explained to her before the consultation nor was it visibly display.

On 16 Oct 2012, three days after the consultation my friend was still not recovering from her cough after she had completed her medicine. She get a friend to buy the same cough syrup on her behalf which was a common practice when we run out of the medicine and still not recovering. She was very angry this time when her friend called her to said, the doctor had rejected her from buying the cough medicine and insisted her to come back for another consultation. When her friend asked the doctor what was the reason she cannot buy the medicine and explained to him that other clinics have no problem with that, the doctor just said it is MOH rule.

Does anyone know if MOH is having such rule?

My family and friends I spoke to have always been able to buy a second course of medicine from other clinics when we are not recovering from our sickness.

After paying so much for the first consultation and not recovering, would anyone be so stupid to go back and pay another consultation to see the same doctor?


*The above was first posted as a comment on The Temasek Times.


34 Responses to “Complaint about ProHealth Medical Group charging $81 for flu”

  1. Zam said

    I used to go to JB to get all the medicines without any prescription and its more than 50% cheaper compared to buying the same here.

  2. 陳一峯 said

    there no longer guidelines for cost of consultation. due to the high complain rate of singaporean , the doctors would recommend the patient to be consulted again due to the fact that the first medication is not successful. on top of this, some cough syrup contains controlled components and therefore clinic would not sell these medication without consultation.

    • P Koh said

      The behaviour of some medical practitioneers really leaves much to be desired. In Singapore, we better not fall sick or have an impacted tooth as there are no guidelines on how much you can be charged. Worst still, some doctors would even recommend surgery where there is absolutely no need for such procedures. One Nation, One People One Singapore. Put the two “1s” over the “S” and what do you get? That is exactly what the government represents and so the medical profession merely follows suit.

  3. Renee Foo said

    Please lah! Stop complaining you cheapshite heartlanders! $81 for an after hours consultation is highly reasonable! You still expect medical fees to be $20-30 like it was in the 90s issit?

  4. poor Singaporean said

    Thanks for the info. I will avoid going to them in future.

  5. Ahmad said

    I do not really think this a widespread trend in Singapore, so I do not think that there is much to worry about. Although it was unfortunate for the patient, any bad treatment by the clinic eventually affects in negatively, and probably with the bad reputation it receives, as they are receiving now. If, however, the clinic is known for good service of some sort, then maybe the clinic is already used to the high rates, which is somewhat justified. Otherwise, I think this knowledge at least lets Singaporeans know where not to get treated, although it is rather unfortunate for the clinic and their group. I hope they do change for the better after this, however.

  6. Blurrsotong said

    Firstly, I think this was an after office hours consultation as it was already 10.35pm. If she went to a govt. A&E, it would have been about $75 for consultation. Also, as can be read from the recent reports, certain cough mixtures are controlled items and doctors have been charged for selling them without seeing the patient. Hence, they may want to prevent similar problems.

  7. Informer said

    You went to a 24-hour clinic at 10.35pm. Many 24hr clinics raise consultation charges ( excluding medications ) to $40-50 between 10pm to 12 midnight; and $60-80 from 12 midnight to 7 am.

    Clinic assistants in these clinics are usually trained to inform all patients on the charges religiously after 10pm; so it is quite hard to believe your account.

    All prescription medicines cannot be bought over the counter without a consultation. Previously the regulations were lax and that’s why many GPs flout the rule.

    Singaporean patients seem to be least educated on common health issues.

    The Cochrane Review in 2004 that analyses the results of 24 randomised controlled trials have already shown that ALL COUGH & COLD MEDICATIONS IN CLINICAL USE are generally INEFFECTIVE and DO NOT alter the course of illness. Even for those that provide some symptomatic relief, the risk-benefit ratio remains unclear.–cough.html

    You HARDLY need to see a doctor for cough and cold ( unless u need a MC ). Some patients who are knowledgeable enough to self-medicate still choose to see a GP to assess need for antibiotics. All doctors know that 70-90% of upper respiratory tract infections (common cough & cold) are caused by viruses and NOT bacteria; even for the 10-30% caused by bacteria, antibiotics are generally NOT required except for very rare cases (eg signs suggestive of scarlet fever). However, in the local context, GPs usually have a very low threshold of using antibiotics either to satisfy demanding patients or for profit gains.

    Read the Mayo Clinic recommendations for common cold here

    Mod’s note:

    The ProHealth clinic at Buangkok is not a 24 hour clinic.

    • Naivety said

      If it is not a 24 Hour Clinic, then the fees charged is expensive!

      • Santi said

        I used to go to Trans Islanf Clinic for comon illness and they gave me one injection witg medecine which costed me about $110. So watch out this Clinic too.

  8. No Can Do said

    My wife went to the medical clinic opp Beauty World for a simple cough and she was prescribed anti-biotics and cough medicine, thereafter a follow up visit as she was not fully well. The charge? $300/-!

  9. Clarice said

    I had the same experience before. For the flu I had to pay $49.00 and was not told the breakdown of my consultation and medicine. I asked a friend of mine who is a doctor and she said different clinics have different consultation fees.
    As for the cough medicine if it contains codeine than it is impossible to get it from a doctor without consultation.

  10. Robin Hood said

    Some doctors are very jealous of other doctors making a lot of money. Doctors’ sacred pledge upon graduating to serve society is to save your life – not your pocket. So, everybody out there, for common thing like cough, flu and fever, please go to the pharmacy and get yourself a bit expensive but very good medicine over the counter or thro’ the pharmacist on duty. Drink more water and you will be well again.

    In nature there are alot of plants that help to cure common ailments. How do you think the aborigines in the jungle survived, generation after generation? Where got GP there, only many monkeys.

  11. Observer said

    1035 pm on saturday, normally clinic closed liao. $50 consultation is the norm, because its considered as after hours. if its normal hours, it won’t be $50. The doctor also needs a life, she sacrifice her sat night of couse she should be compensated. U sibei cheapskate leh.

  12. No Can Do said

    It wld be proper that the SMC or Min of Health lay down rules and guidelines for doctors prescribing antibiotics for flu and other common illnesses, to ensure that patients are not fleeced by their doctors. When a patient is evidently a hypochondriac, he or she needs to be even more protected from unscrupulous doctors to exploit their weakness. The medical profession shd be reinvented for it o be a service profession, and not so much a money-raking one as presently.

    • Santi said

      PAP govt treat doctors and lawyers like gods. Bacause many of their members and cronies are doctors and lawyers. Thats the reasons why our doctors and lawyers charge very high fees compared to other countries. Its the govt mantality who set a very bad example.

  13. Penn said

    ah ling arr. pls get your common sense in place and find out the facts before embarassing yourself

  14. Why the hell did she go there? That place is dangerous.

  15. singaporean said

    Stupid post.. how on earth do u think the doctor will sell u another course of cough syrup via your friend? Think before you complain

  16. no need consult said

    “My family and friends I spoke to have always been able to buy a second course of medicine from other clinics when we are not recovering from our sickness.”

    Can you please let us know which are the clinics that you are able to just buy medicine through a friend without consultation? We will follow-up with some action here.

    There was such a famous case in the USA where a famous doctor in Singapore was accused of doing the same thing, this time with a more profitable medication called Viagra. When he came to Singapore to dodge the flak from USA, he did not reveal this fault in his character to the Singapore authorities, who are now trying very hard to cover up their oversight and embarrassment.

  17. Ron said

    I went to a dental surgery at Cold Storage Jelita and was charged $170 for consultation and cleaning of teeth, no fillings were needed.

    That would the last time I will go there. Not sure if there is a standard for charges in Spore.

    • L Roland said

      Ron, that is the trouble, simply opening your mouth for dentist without thinking of the consequence.
      Lucky for you it is only a small sum, one session with a nice PRC chic plus tips.

    • oral hygiene said

      Did it occur to you the dental surgeon is actually hinting to you not to return ?
      Could be your breath that nearly killed him despite a protective mask on.
      What do u think ?

      • That is offensive.

      • experienced dentist said

        What is offensive ?
        The dental surgeon’s $170 bill or Ron’s killer breath is offensive ?

      • Goh Tong Seng said

        Telling a total stranger that they have a killer breath is offensive.

      • experienced dentist said

        Having a killer breath itself is offensive. Let Ron kiss you or vice versa.

      • mrt commuter said

        you should be squeezed between Ron and somebody with killer body odour in a crowded train, then let’s see if you make it to the next train stop.
        And if you are really immune, then i don’t know what to say !

      • Goh Tong Seng said

        I have been frequently plagued by allergic rhinitis and sinusitis. Therefore, my nose have been heavily blocked for frequent and long periods of time. As a result, I could hardly recognize scents and odors.

      • gynae drinking kaki said

        Not a good situation for you because you have no idea that you are actually shafting a smelly cb. And if you check with any gynae, smelly means there is a problem……….

  18. Paul said

    Same group lah, need to make up for the folly

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