MOH rejects appeal of Singaporean retiree to use medisave for spouse’s emergency fees incurred in MOH-approved Malaysian hospital

“We note that your family are currently not residing in Singapore. Hence, we are unable to accede to your request. Should you have further concerns on managing any oustanding amount, we would suggest you approach the Business Office of Regency Specialist Hospital to discuss suitable financial arrangements.”

This was the reply given to Mr Mokhtar bin Rahmat by Ministry of Health (MOH) on his appeal to use his Medisave to pay for medical expenses incurred during an emergency operation.

Sharing his experience in a Facebook post on 24 May, he shared that her wife was admitted to the A&E of Regency Hospital around two months ago. In total, the surgery and five days of hospitalisation stay came to a final figure of about RM$25,000 (SGD$8,400). Mr Mokhtar said that he managed to raise the amount by borrowing from friends and relatives.

The 60-year-old Singaporean retiree who has been staying in Johor, Malaysia for the past five years with his wife, said that he knew that the hospital that his wife was in, was a MOH approved hospital.

He said he has seen advertisements on buses about how the hospital is able to utilise Medisave.  He said, “Any Singaporean can have a surgery in that hospital. As it was Singapore approved. Check with it’s website. It’s written there.”

And indeed, that is exactly what is written there at the hospital’s website:

Regency is the first hospital in Johor Bahru to be approved by Ministry of Health, Singapore, for the use of Medisave overseas for approved hospitalisation and day surgeries.

As a Medisave accredited overseas hospital since 1 March 2010, Singapore patients seeking treatment at Regency are able to enjoy Medisave usage and take advantage of the lower cost of hospitalisation overseas.

The hospital, however, did note that Singapore patients who wish to use their Medisave in Regency must be referred through Health Management International (HMI)’s Medisave-accredited referral centre at Balestier Clinic & Health Screening Centre in Singapore, where pre-admission clinical assessment and financial counselling will be provided.

But still, the doctor attending to him knew that he had the intention to claim from his Medisave and advised him to visit the screening center and appeal for the use of his Medisave. The doctor even wrote a letter to support his appeal.

Explaining the medical condition of Mr Mohktar’s spouse, the doctor asked that the patient be assisted with Medisave reimbursement.

After coming all the way back to Singapore and handing in his appeal letter to the centre at Balestair, MOH replied Mr Mohkatr saying that usage for local medical treatment is limited to patients who are Singapore Citizens or Permanent Residents of Singapore who are normally resident in Singapore. And because his family is not residing in Singapore, therefore they are not eligible to use their Medisave.

Puzzlingly, MOH’s reply to Mr Mohktar does not seem to address the situation at hand. One would have assumed – based on the disclaimer on the hospital’s website – that the problem Mr Mohkatr face is not seeking prior approval from the Balestier Clinic & Health Screening Centre to seek treatment in Johor.

M  Mohktar said, “Why can’t I use my Medisave since it was a government approved? Am I being short changed? Furthermore, it was an emergency. My wife was bleeding. How to come back Singapore?”

And as Mr Mohktar explain, that is impossible given that his spouse sought medical treatment due to an emergency.

Instead, MOH is declining Mr Mohktar’s request to withdraw from his Medisave account because he and his wife is not staying in Singapore.

In what seems to be a standard template document passed to Mr Mokhtar by the doctor at Regency Specialist hospital, there does not seem to be a condition stating that the applicant has to be staying in Singapore to file for claims.

The Online Citizen has written to both MOH and the Regency Specialist Hospital last week, asking for the entities to explain the terms and condition of Medisave usage for Singaporean patients.  However, both have not replied to TOC’s queries.

Mr Mohktar shared that his last statement of account in the CPF/Medisave was $37K (Medisave account only).

He asked, “Why am I not allowed to use my Medisave monies with black and white proof? What do you want from me? U want to see me die? Only than I could use my money? We are not elites earning millions of tax payers money.”

He noted that he has spent over SGD$10,000+ in cash and counting. After the operation in March, his wife needs to return to the hospital every three days for check-up, which cost between 500-600 ringgit for consultation and medicine.

While he said that he didn’t expect to claim much from his Medisave – Probably around SGD$1,000 to SGD$2,000 – he would still like to be able to claim from his Medisave account for the full bill payment which is about S$10,000.

“But .. I don’t think that they would allow that.” said Mr Mokhtar.

On the withdrawal of Medisave for his wife’s medical bills, Mr Mokhat said to TOC, “I want justice. Not charity. That’s all.”

 

* Editorial by The Online Citizen

 

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28 Responses to “MOH rejects appeal of Singaporean retiree to use medisave for spouse’s emergency fees incurred in MOH-approved Malaysian hospital”

  • Bystander:

    Quote:

    “I think the people of Singapore, like the people from Malaysia, must be tired of having the same Govt, the same Party, since Independence.”

    PM Dr. Mahathir
    Straits Times,
    May 30th 2018

    Tired of pushing we citizens to the wall, with unreasonable demands and the
    ever popping up of schemes to hold on to our CPF funds, and the ever new Insurance no opting out schemes, plus the ever increase in various costs of living, all these with no way out for us to protest.
    Meanwhile, they are happily using taxpayers to pay themselves, earning absurdly high pay with 6 months to a year bonuses, while we lesser beings have to struggle to make ends meet.

    Tired liao.

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  • LIONS:

    your cpf is not your money?
    so says once NMP daft?

    so,now the govt thinks so???

    wtf! IF CPF IS NOT OUR MONEY,then whose money is it?

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  • LuHsien Lwong:

    Mr Mokhat, do you know who are the ones who caused your pain and miseries? No doubt we can call MOH or the pap heartless but the main culprits are the 69.9% voters. If not for the daft sporeans who kept giving their votes to those greedy idiots, you’d not be in such a sad plight. If there’re more oppositions in parliament, the policymakers would not have suka suka take and keep our monies as if it’s theirs and ownself do what ownself feel like it.

    No matter how much money your friends or relatives have lent you, if they’ve voted for the white party, they’re actually the ones to be blamed first and foremost.

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  • Gahment Must Be Compassionate!:

    It is action like this that irk the Voters!

    Everyone ‘follow the book’ that was written since Independence!

    Have a heart, go on a case by case basis; don’t always think negative!

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  • Follow the Malaysian solution:

    Another compelling case for regime change in Singapore.

    Don’t get mad, get even. Vote for regime change.

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  • CPF Not My Money?:

    Who is the stupid a*shole who said that?

    LIONS:
    your cpf is not your money?
    so says once NMP daft?

    so,now the govt thinks so???

    wtf! IF CPF IS NOT OUR MONEY,then whose money is it?

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  • NMP Chia Yong Yong:
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  • Kick Them All Out:

    LIONS:
    your cpf is not your money?
    so says once NMP daft?

    so,now the govt thinks so???

    wtf! IF CPF IS NOT OUR MONEY,then whose money is it?

    The greedy regime cannot be trusted.
    When the real test comes, Sinkies have been failed yet again. So all the medisafe schemes and tweaks are just more ways to trap your money.
    When you needed it most in emergency, you cannot use it. Then what are the covers and payment for? Dr M is dead right that Singaporeans should give evil PAP the boot.

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  • Justice for all:

    On the withdrawal of Medisave for his wife’s medical bills, Mr Mokhat said to TOC, “I want justice. Not charity. That’s all.
    ……….
    You are correct Mr Mokhat.
    Its justice &fairplay is all we citizens want in our country–
    They seem to treat foreigners better than us native born sgs.

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  • Bapak:

    Dear Mokhtar,

    Firstly, who did you vote for in GE2015? If you voted for PAP, you deserved it.

    Secondly, you want to ride on both sampans? Living in JB and want to be Sinkies? How stupid.

    Thirdly, don’t you know your CPF money is not yours as long as it is parked inside? OYK said they must show discipline. Here you are, they discipline you.

    Fourthly, for heaven sake since you can reside in JB with house get out of this Sinkland and take all your CPF money out as soon as possible.

    And after you do that, whenever you come back to Sinkland as ex-SG when you see 10 Sinkies, please do use a favor – slap seven of them and then tell them your story.

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  • HarderTruths:

    No pity for this guy and his wife. None.
    Voted pappies I am 100% sure.
    Though t they can run away to Malaysia and escape leaving the rest of us to suffer.
    Now pappies destroy him by saying ‘you are not in $G – so f**k off’
    karma is a b*t*h.

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  • Dr Mahatir better than clown:

    keep that Singapore passport and when GE2019 is here come back and vote OPPOSITION.

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  • rukidding:

    I remember our Minister Khaw saying something like “retiring” in Malaysia.

    Now, with this case ,…I seriously do not know what this P.A.P. Gov is doing ?

    Can or cannot ? within 200metres or outside 200metres ???

    Then Indian can become a Malay ….???? ( because is muslim )???

    So, if ang Mo muslim…then recognised as what ? Ang Mo Malay ???

    So many “half infos” and seem all are “smoke screens” ????

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  • sad:

    Have a HEART…Be Kind to cases like this…let him use his Medisave…

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  • Need we say more:

    This is exactly what PAP is.

    Inflexible and
    compassionless beings!

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  • Equality Was Stealthily Remove:

    So sad for that guy. It is hisown hard earned money in medisave,
    yet he cannot used it even though proof was shown to money-eating MOH.

    I have personally heard and come across such cases, whereby
    proof was shown to MOH yet medisave money was not allowed to be
    used.

    That guy said it best, I am asking for charity, just for justice
    and fairness to use my own medisave money.

    Change is needed, goondu Singkies.

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  • ChangeNeeded:

    Gov. needed to be replaced and everything wrong refreshed. MOH is really a disaster. I had a very bad experience with CGH that I will think twice before visiting it again. a month ago, I had made an appoint through a private clinic to have a haemorrhoid ligation done and was given an appointment date one month away which was to be on 30/05/2018. When I went to clinic C to see a doctor David Ong, he was late by one and half hours when he showed up at the clinic. When I saw him it was two and half hours past my appointment time. To make matters worse during the consultation I was ask 2 questions, was it bleeding and since when did I have this haemorrhoid? After that I was told that he will make another appointment for me to have a scope done and then the treatment which will take about an hour. The new appointment will will be another month of waiting. What the F**K? I waited for one month to see a specialist to get another appointment for treatment. What the hell is MOH doing with all these clowns running the health care ministry? Why is there so much wastage of time and manpower? Do you think we need a change to reboot and get rid of 63 years of complacency?

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  • ChangeChange:

    MOH has always been a disaster because it has been run by million dollar clowns who will never understand the pains and inconveniences the common citizens encounters because policies were not meant to help us but to enrich themselves. My recent personal experience with CGH let made me realised how ridiculous the way things are done. I am a pioneer citizen and I wanted to have my haemorrhoid removed; so according to CGH I have to consult a GP first to make an appointment to see a specialist. After paying the GP $8.00 to write a referral letter and make an appointment that was to be a month away. When the time came for me to see a Dr. David Ong in C clinic at 2:30PM, he did not show up at the clinic until 3:30PM to see the patient in front of me whose appoint was half an hour before me. When I saw the doctor at around 4:00 PM, I was ask a couple of questions whether there was bleeding and how long I had the haemorrhoid. There was no examination and he told that an appointment will be made for me to have a scope done together with the treatment which should take less than an hour. The appoint date was set to be another month away. I was furious and just walked out of the clinic. What the F**K is happening? What a waste of manpower and resources. I have to see a GP to make an appoint to see a specialist to make another appointment for a simple treatment like haemorrhoid ligation that entails 2 months of waiting time and this is with the present population number. How is the ministry going to cope with 6.9 million going to10 million population? We really need to reboot and refresh our country with change of government.

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  • N.Jungne:

    When such time approaches, it will advertised as unclaimed amount, so bye-bye.

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  • Prophet Muhammad says:

    “Those who are merciful will be shown mercy by the Most Merciful. Be merciful to others on earth and the One in the heavens will have mercy on you.”

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  • But he died:

    Prophet Muhammad says:
    “Those who are merciful will be shown mercy by the Most Merciful. Be merciful to others on earth and the One in the heavens will have mercy on you.”

    and he never rose from the dead!

    So how he gonna help?

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  • Show off at whose expense?:

    Now generously offer to bear some of the costs for Kim/Trump meeting over here.
    Would you believe that !!!
    Giving a treat to two big countries who could entertain themselves pretty well.
    Don’t insult them please.
    These two leaders back home could eat caviar everyday and dine and wine in style every day and watch the latest movies in their own private theatres in their palatial homes.
    Yes there have been suggestions that our ministers contribute collectively to the costs to show off how wealthy they are not use the taxpayers’ monies.
    That’s more like it.
    Our ministers are super wealthy not the people some of whom slogged it out in the food courts cleaning tables to earn a few bucks.
    And oh yes, remember Trump once said suggested to entertain foreign dignitaries at McDonalds.
    At least Trump is behaving practical.
    This decision by our generous minister reveals a weird “self-glory” mentality using others’ monies which the people must realize.
    It is silly and amusing and certainly most inappropriate.
    Here we talk of no such thing as a free lunch.
    Isn’t this a big joke giving a treat using other people’s money.
    The government could have given the money to the poor in your own backyard or some deserving refugees in other parts of the world and get some blessings.
    Here trying to show off but for all the wrong reasons looking after two rich leaders who could easily afford the expenses.
    BTW look at some of the pathetic amounts on record contributed to our neighbors during some disasters.
    What’s going on in their heads?

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  • Suckers wake up !:

    Everything is geared so that their high salaries and allowances and bonuses and pension schemes and other perks remain intact. Get it.

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  • ChangeNeeded:

    ChangeNeeded:
    Gov. needed to be replaced and everything wrong refreshed. MOH is really a disaster. I had a very bad experience with CGH that I will think twice before visiting it again. a month ago, I had made an appoint through a private clinic to have a haemorrhoid ligation done and was given an appointment date one month away which was to be on 30/05/2018. When I went to clinic C to see a doctor David Ong, he was late by one and half hours when he showed up at the clinic. When I saw him it was two and half hours past my appointment time. To make matters worse during the consultation I was ask 2 questions, was it bleeding and since when did I have this haemorrhoid? After that I was told that he will make another appointment for me to have a scope done and then the treatment which will take about an hour. The new appointment will will be another month of waiting. What the F**K? I waited for one month to see a specialist to get another appointment for treatment. What the hell is MOH doing with all these clowns running the health care ministry? Why is there so much wastage of time and manpower? Do you think we need a change to reboot and get rid of 63 years of complacency?

    Since I was told that another appointment for treatment was going to be a month away I was furious and refused any treatment and so no appointment was made. I could not believe my eyes when a few days later, an invoice was sent to me stating consultation for first visit $92.00. What the f**K! for just asking a couple of questions and to make a new appointment! This is more than daylight robbery. If not for my pioneer status I would have to pay that full amount. Still an amount of $13.78 was deducted from my CPF Medisave. Those who do not vote for change be prepared to be prepared suffer more pains in future.

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  • MOH please investigate...:

    Any good reason Dr reported late?

    Any good reason why ops was delayed?

    What is the frequency of such occurrences?

    Look at the doctor attendance. Is it habitual? Interview the nurses to find out.

    All these bad practices must be eradicated!

    No self discipline?

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  • Not Only Doctor, Judges too!:

    If you ‘a regular’ at the State Courts, you will notice that some judges are not punctual. Cases are not heard on time especially those adjourned before lunch. Only start at 2.30pm or 3pm after lunch!

    Wonder if anyone check on them, CJ?

    But our Members of Parliament are worse, they don’t even turn up!

    Monkeys See Monkeys Do?

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  • Sparkles:

    CPF Medisave is all bull. My daughter needed a $8000 ear operation. I have $40,000 in my medisave. Simple issue right? But I wanted a specialist to operate because my wife and I had been seeing generalists for 1 year and none could diagnose my daughter’s problem. After meeting that specialist, he knew within 10 minutes what was the ailment. Anyway, because he was a specialist, I MUST ward my child in Class B ward at minimum. So, since she was in Class B ward, thus I get only a little government subsidy whereas if she was in Class C, I get full subsidy but the operation will be done by some other surgeon on duty and not the specialist who knew the issue. Then, because I have some insurance cover, the costs became lower. BUT somehow, I lost my job. In the end, there was $400 that I had to pay in cash. I have $40,000 in my Medisave, the operation is supposed to be $8000, I have insurance….so why all the BS-ing? That is why I dread if I or family members have an emergency especially overseas. Why the BS about subsidies? Just make upfront cost low in the first place. And stop the lie about not having reserves or depletion of reserves. They are being depleted by stupid gambling on buying into companies not because people are being heavily subsidised medically.

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  • Not your money:

    CPF money is not your money because you, 70%, voted for it.

    Dont worry , you can always reverse it by voted against it becaisr you forgot that you are the boss.

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