Changi General Hospital apologises for using debt collector to retrieve S$37 from patient

Hospital said there was a lapse in communication.

By Belmont Lay | March 15, 2017

Changi General Hospital (CGH) has apologised for using a debt collector to retrieve S$37 owed to them by a patient.

The issue first came to light after a 25-minute phone conversation between the patient and a CGH staff was uploaded online.

The original version has been removed from Facebook, but a version of it can still be found online:

One “Mr Seah” can be heard sounding agitated as he told the CGH employee that the debt collector was trying to claim his unpaid bills amounting to S$37.

He said he had earlier told a hospital staff member that he would pay the outstanding medical bills at the next appointment and had ignored warning letters sent to him.

The debt collector had approached the patient over the phone. The patient’s bill has been outstanding since late 2016.

According to Today, it turns out that another CGH staff had previously failed to inform the hospital’s billing office about the patient’s arrangement to pay his unpaid bill of S$37 during his next visit to the hospital in April this year:

“Unfortunately, our staff member did not convey this information to our back-end billing office. There was also a lapse in processing the patient’s payment using (the Central Provident Fund’s) Medisave, which we are working with the patient to rectify,” a spokesperson from CGH said.

“We apologise for these lapses in service and any inconvenience caused to the patient and his family.”

The hospital also defended the debt collector. CGH said at no time was the agent’s tone intimidating or harsh after reviewing the recording.

 

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About Belmont Lay

Belmont can pronounce "tchotchke".

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