In March this year, both MF and MY were hospitalized one after another. Now that the ordeal is over, I thought I would share my experience, so that you would know what to expect in the event *TOUCH WOOD!* your child is admitted.
MF’s Hospitalization at KKH
MF was having serious vomiting and stomach pain one night. Since all the clinics were closed, I decided to bring him to KKH. We reached there at about 10pm.
After a round of medication and observation at A&E, they eventually decided to admit him at around 1am. In between 10pm to 1am, we were waiting around the corridors as the observation ward at KKH was only for very serious cases.
I requested for a single room, but they were out of single rooms. Hence, they were only able to give him a 4-bedder (Class B1). If you are going to KKH, do note that they do not have 2-bedders. So in the event one-bedders are filled, your next available option is 4-bedder.
During his stay, they did a stool culture and diagnosed him with Rotavirus. (I know what you want to ask. YES, he took Rotavirus vaccination before when he was a baby. But he still caught the virus anyway at 4 year old.)
He was given probiotics, stomach pain medication, glucose syrup and fever medication.
Every morning, a group of doctors would come around to check on him once.
He was admitted at 1am on a Wednesday and discharged at 4pm on a Friday. This was considered only 1 day stay. His total bill was $746.20 after government subsidy.
Since laboratory tests and medications would differ based on the illness, what you may want to note are the following:
- Bed cost per night = $210 + GST (after government subsidy).
- Daily treatment fee = $89 + GST (after government subsidy).
- Doctor’s fee = $153.03 + GST (after government subsidy).
- A&E fee = $103.
So the base price (excluding lab test and medication) for a 1 day stay at KKH (Class B1) was around $586.67 (inclusive of GST).
MY’s Hospitalization at Thomson Medical Centre TMC
MY started trembling in the middle of the night and was running a high fever above 40 degrees. I immediately rushed him to TMC instead of KKH because it was nearer to our place and I reckoned waiting time was much shorter. There was a 24-hour clinic at TMC, but it is important to note that it is NOT a pediatric clinic. The resident doctor is a GP.
Upon arrival, after registration, I immediately got to see the doctor. He inserted a suppository to bring down his fever. They did an influenza test. The result was out in like 5 minutes. (Okay, I don’t remember exactly how long, but it was pretty fast and felt like just 5 minutes.) The test was negative, so they suggested I do a blood test. Since the blood test had a longer waiting time, they decided to admit him for the night. (Yay, no waiting in corridors!)
I requested for a single room, but just like at KKH, they were out of single rooms. However, they had an empty 2-bedder, which they let me use as a single room (i.e. we were the only occupants.) The following night, they transferred me to a proper single room.
MY’s blood test showed that he had a mycoplasma infection. Hence, he was put on antibiotics. Other than that, he was given fever medication.
He was attended to by Dr Ang Ai Tin. She came by twice a day to check on MY, once in the morning and once in the evening. 90% of the children admitted at TMC were attended to by Dr Ang Ai Tin, so the doctor’s fees below should be pretty representative of a TMC stay.
MY was admitted at around 3 or 4am on a Friday night and discharged at 12noon on Sunday. This was considered 1 day. His total bill was $2239.95. (Woah, that’s 3 times of MF’s KKH bill!)
Medication and laboratory fees will vary according to illness, but the following costs are what you should take note of:
- Accommodation (single bed) = $530 per night
- Daily Treatment Fee = $145
- Doctor’s Fees (For Dr Ang Ai Tin) = $749
- Resident Doctor Services (this is the charge for visiting TMC’s 24 hour clinic in the middle of the night, akin to A&E fee at KKH) = $95
So the base price (excluding lab test and medication) for a 1 day stay at single bedded at TMC was around $1519.
Summary of Singapore Children Hospitalization Cost
A table of comparison for the fees between KKH (Class B1) and TMC (Single-bed) for a 1 night stay:
Procedure for Payment with Private Hospitalization Insurance
We have private hospitalization insurance coverage for both kids. Below was the procedure for paying the hospital bill via private hospitalization insurance.
- Upon arrival, I paid $103 for A&E Fee. (I used CDA.)
- Upon admission, I paid deposit of $610 (I used CDA.)
- At discharge, we were not required to pay any balance since we had private hospitalization insurance.
- The hospital submitted the bill to our insurance company, which paid KKH for the bill. KKH was to refund us the A&E Fee and deposit I had paid earlier.
- We filled in a form for the above payments to be refunded back to the CDA account.
- $698.02* was refunded to our CDA account.
* If your Math is good, you must be wondering why only $698.02 was refunded when I paid $713 earlier. If you refer to my KKH bill, you will notice a “Miscellaneous – Non Treatment Related” charge of $14. I have NO idea what that was for, since KKH did not give an itemised bill. I definitely did not call for room service. That $14 (or to be precise, $14.98 after GST) was NOT covered by our insurance. So I was refunded $713 – $14.98 = $698.02.
Our hospitalization insurance had a clause stating that if we stayed in a restructured (government) hospital, we would receive a cash incentive of $175 (for class A) / $225 (for class B1). So our insurance company sent us a cheque for $225.
- From arrival to discharge, I did not have to pay a single cent, because the hospital had records that we were covered by private hospitalization insurance.
- The hospital submitted the bill to the insurance company, the insurance company paid them. End of story. We did not have to do a single thing.
After discharge, we were required to return for two follow-ups with Dr Ang Ai Tin. Our hospitalization insurance covered post-treatment. So for the two visit, I paid for the visits first, then sent the receipts to my insurance agent to process. The insurance company subsequently reimbursed us.
Importance of Hospitalization Insurance
This was not the first time my kids were hospitalized. I always tell my friends, the first thing you need to buy when your baby is born is not new clothes or new whatever. It’s hospitalization insurance.
When can / should I buy hospitalization insurance for my child?
You can purchase it the moment you register your kid’s birth (i.e. your kid now has a name and BC number.. Yippee!) and you should.
Why the urgency?
Because *touch wood* you have no idea when your kids would fall sick and newborns are not known to have strong immunity.
And because insurance applications take time to process!
When MY was 6 weeks old, he was hospitalized at TMC for 1 whole week for RSV + MRSA. You can imagine, this recent 1 night staycation cost $2000+. How much did our 1 week getaway, complete with massage services by physiotherapist and aromatherapy by nebulizers, then cost.
We had bought hospitalization insurance for MY immediately after he was born. Even then, after 6 weeks, the plan was not in force yet! Can you imagine my horror???
Turned out, our plan was approved shortly after we bought it. But it took a long time be in force (the insurance company blamed CPF timelines). To cut the long story short, because we had bought it long ago and it was approved, the insurance company eventually paid out the full hospital bill.
So remember: Buy hospitalization insurance right after your kid is born!