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Public dental clinics in Singapore

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Public dental clinics in Singapore
Public dental clinics in Singapore charge for missed appointments
by news reports

SINGAPORE: As the first health-care institution in Singapore, the National Healthcare Group (NHG) is charging a deposit fee to patients who do not attend their appointments at the group’s five dental clinics. According to reports in the newspaper Strait Times, the fee of S$8 (US$6) will be waived for regular patients and those on public assistance or Medifund schemes. It will not be forfeited if the appointment is cancelled or rescheduled within at least three working days.
NHG dental clinics have seen a growing number of patients lately. In 2008, almost 70,000 patients sought treatment, which is an increase of more than 10 per cent compared to 2007. However, four out of ten patients failed to keep their appointments, wasting slots that could have been used for patients who require treatment.

In the past, telephone messages were left and reminder letters were sent to patients a few days before their dental appointments. Patients were also sent SMS messages, but these measures did not yield a “positive improvement”, a NHG spokesperson said.

Public dental clinics like those of the NHG group operate on an appointment-only basis. Walk-in cases are also attended to but only after the patients with appointments have received treatment. Not showing up on the designated date means that other patients are deprived of an earlier appointment. Waiting times are typically between three months and half a year.

Other clinics have declined to charge for missed appointments.


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