Angry Doctor

Friday, August 25, 2006

Hospital to implement online bidding for clinic appointments

Bonus Bogus Story

Singapore -

Southern Hope Hospital has opened some of its subsidised clinic slots for online bidding.

Mr Bhidnau, the hospital's Senior Clinic Manager told Straight Times this at a press conference yesterday.

"After the introduction of the Feedback Score system, we received many requests from our patients to see our doctors with higher scores. As these were subsidised patients, we could not accommodate their requests and this had led to some unhappiness. Following a discussion with the hospital medical board, we decided to release eight slots or one hour from each clinic session for bidding by the patients to accomodate this demand," said Mr Bhidnau.

Patients are now able to make their bids for clinic appointments online via the hospital's website. Auction for the clinic appointments opens two weeks before the date of the consultation, and ends one week before. The starting bid for each consultation is $20, which is the standard consultation charge for subsidised patients. There is also a 'book it now' option whereby a patient can book the appointment for $60 before the auction ends.

"The 'book it now' option allows patients who do not wish to wait to secure their appointments. This is equivalent to the consultation fees at the non-subsidised clinic. We have also made $60 the maximum bid allowed to ensure the subsidised clinics remain affordable," explained Mr Bhidnau.

"So far the response has been positive, but there is no current plan to expand the system to more than one hour per session as we want to keep the costs of healthcare affordable."



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