I was shocked to receive a bill of $69 when I consulted a General Practitioner (GP) recently at Punggol Field Blk 168 – Punggol Family Clinic for coughing.
My coughing has been most persistent this time and I decided to visit a GP after coughing for a few weeks. I was on the road to recovery last week but later the coughing came back so I thought that its best I get some medication.
This is my first foray into a GP clinic after almost 5 years as I tried to depend on my own bodily antibiotics for recovery and was shocked to discover that the private clinic medical expenses have almost doubled since my last visit.
All along, I have paid not more than $30 previously even with antibiotics thrown in. That was five years ago though.
I requested for antibiotics when I consulted the GP at Punggol and she advised me rightfully to see her after a few days later as patients have wrongly utilised antibiotics prematurely rendering their effects ineffective.
I promised her that I will only administer the antibiotics if the coughing persisted for a few more days after taking the cough syrup.
I gathered that if I see her later for the antibiotics if I need them, the cost will even be higher with two consultation bills.
I nearly fainted when I saw the bill – $69! Just for coughing?
I later managed to ekk out a refund of almost $15 when I returned the tablets for sore throat and lozenges to them citing that I don’t need them.
In the end , she charged me $18 for consultation, $20 for the antibiotics, $7.20 for the cough syrup and $7.20 for the phlegm treatment tablets.
I finally paid $56 after GST which is my highest GP bill I have paid in my life time just for treatment of a cough.
Some friends I complained to told me that they ususally paid between $20 – $30 for common cold and fever and $69 seemed a tad too expensive. Others have commented that $60+ are their usual medical cost for GP treatment.
Thus, I wonder if there is a discrepancy on how GPs charged their clients. Is it due to district i.e. if you stay in more expensive area they will charge you more or medication?
How can the medical cost of GPs varies so much just for a common illness?
Anyway, I thought that charging $18 for consultation alone was way too expensive. I used to only pay $20 for consultation and medication previously.
I will go for our government polyclinic in future for such treatment. A friend told me the polyclinic at Sengkang charged $35 for fever and flu…not too cheaply I must say but still half of the cost on the one that I visited.
Sadly, I can no longer afford the convenient but sky high cost of our regular GPs in housing estate anymore.
Did some minister say that our healthcare cost is still affordable here?