Thursday, July 7, 2016

Private hospitalization experience for my toddler

My toddler had a persistent high fever of above 40 degrees for a few days and a loss of appetite. Being a first time parent, naturally we were worried and we wanted the best for our child. We therefore sent him to a private hospital as it was only 3 minutes drive to our house and we didn't want to waste time queuing at Kedang Kerbau Hospital (KKH), based on feedback from others.

Anyway, the feeling during the whole stay was just money, money, money, money. The nurses were good at their job but i was sorely disappointed at the lack of transparency and lack of communication in terms of administrative matters. Professional care giving was up to standard. For a 1 night stay for an uncomplicated stay, total bill including A/E fee, pediatrician bills, medicine, ancilliary et.c is $1584.80.  

Even though I have bought for my son the highest hospitalisation plan possible with a rider so its fully covered for by my insurance and medisave, i still feel its not right. The following is the interim bill ( estimated). 

Red box:
Biogaia Probiotic 5 ml drops cost $91.17. Buying from Guardian cost only $45 based on the screenshot below. This is more than 100% more expensive.

Green box:
Do you notice something wrong with the billing in the green box?
2 sachets cost $8.74 while 8 sachets cost $15.74. Am i overcharged or undercharged? Anyway, the fact that such thing occurs does infer that something is way off about billing issues.

During the admissions procedure, the executive clearly told me that a full night stay was from 6 July 12.01am to 7 July 11am ( about 23 hours). We admitted at 12.30 am 6 July. Another admissiions executive told me that if i was warded on 5 july 11.30 pm ( 31 minutes more to 6 July 12.01am), i would be charged a full days rate if i discharged on 6 July 11 am ( spending only 11 hours 30 minutes). As i love to read fine prints, i pored through the contract and it stated official discharge time is 11 am so there is not reason to doubt the 2 executives words. Being a paranoid, i further looked at the help file given beside the bed, and it stated that 11 am is the discharge time and if discharged after 11am , before 8 pm, an additional half day is charged.

But surprise, surprise, as the PD was good and her medicine effective, my toddler was told he could be discharged as he has stabilised. So we discharged at 10.30 am 6 July before 11am, thinking that it is considered half day, but alas we were charged full day.

Maybe im really stupid to not understand, after asking 2 different admissions executive, 2 different nurses and 1 accounts billing executive how it all works and after reading the contract and the help file.

My bill have been fully paid with no cash outflow so why should i bother? It bothers because the end result is us the consumers suffering when we end up paying more premiums if the insurers cant make their money with the private hospitals, doctors and dentists being the sole winners.

Why can't places for more doctors and dentists be offered locally? I understand the logic of having the best people for the job and we want only competent people to treat us BUT this logic is debunked when you see doctors or dentists who practice medicine here and can't get into local universities but get their degrees from recognised overseas universities just because their parents have the means to do so. Note: I have had my best experiences with overseas doctors, my main point is, is there room for opening up more spaces in local universities such that those without financial means but are able to get into overseas medical universities will still be accepted?


  1. I agreed with you that it does not feel right. Private hospital knows that many people nowadays bought hospitalization insurance and there are doctors who even told patient not to worry as they don't need to pay a single cent. However, many consumers forgot that this will eventually push up the hospitalization insurance plan charge by the insurance company.

  2. Yes. My specialist doctor ask me how much i can claim. haha...Best profession

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