Do SingHealth Institutions Use Debt Collectors to Chase You For Outstanding Bills?

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On 19th Sep 2019, someone posted in Facebook group “COMPLAINT SINGAPORE” to warn readers to stay away from SingHealth institutions. He warned that SingHealth institutions like SGH can refer outstanding medical bills to credit companies, and that these credit companies will charge interest to the debtor. The original poster uploaded two images of bill reminders sent from SGH stating that the hospital reserves the right to refer the outstanding debt to credit companies.

Some of his claims are inaccurate. Here are the following allegations against SingHealth and SGH’s subsequent clarification.

Allegation 1:

SingHealth institutions will allow you to pay your bills later but will still engage credit companies to chase you for outstanding amounts.

Fact:

According to SGH’s clarification posted on its FB page, patients with outstanding bills will receive reminders via text messages and mail. Their outstanding bills will only be referred to a collection agency after 6 weeks.

In addition, patients who have expressed financial difficulties may be offered assistance or installment payments. There is also an option online for patients to make partial payments. Patients who have exhausted all avenues can consider using Medifund.

Allegation 2:

Credit companies will charge interest on the outstanding amounts.

Fact:

It is a general practice for debt collection agencies to charge interest, additional fees, or any other expenses incidental to the original debt. This will be indicated in the agreement between the collector and debtor.

However, these debt collectors are bounded by rules set by the Credit Collection Association of Singapore (CCAS):

  • All costs and charges added to the debts (including the legal contractual basis for any interest applied) must be made known, and

  • Such costs and interests on debtors can only be imposed on a legal and lawful basis.

 

This article is shortened version taken from Black Dot Research: FactCheck. More details: //blackdotresearch.sg/factcheck-do-singhealth-institutions-allow-credit-companies-to-hound-you-for-unpaid-bills/

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