Singapore - 10 Clinics Suspended From Community Health Assist Scheme ("CHAS") Due To Severe Non-compliance.

Legal News & Analysis - Asia Pacific - Singapore - Regulatory & Compliance

8 November, 2018

 

Following a series of audits conducted by MOH, 10 clinics were recently investigated for severe non-compliance, and have been suspended from participation in CHAS. With effect from 23 October 2018, treatment provided by these clinics will no longer be covered by CHAS subsidies, although they will still be allowed to provide medical treatment while suspended.

 

CHAS is a scheme introduced by the Singapore Government in 2012 to provide subsidies for medical and dental care, particularly for Singapore citizens who are from lower to middle income households, and/or from the Pioneer Generation.

 

The clinics, which all belong to the Access Medical Group, had made numerous non-compliant CHAS claims. For instance, claims made for patient visits or chronic conditions were submitted without any relevant supporting documentation, thereby creating doubts as to whether all of the treatments were actually provided.

 

In their statement, MOH highlighted the Singapore Medical Council's Ethical Code and Ethical Guidelines ("ECEG"), which state that doctors must not abuse the doctor-patient relationship for personal gain, as provided under Paragraph C12(9). Further, all doctors should act in the best interests of their patients (in accordance with Paragraph B1), and maintain the highest standards of professional practice and conduct.

 

MOH also highlighted its practice of conducting extensive monitoring of claims and emphasized the firm stance it takes towards non-compliant CHAS claims.

 

The matter has also been referred to the police, who will be investigating the clinics for suspected cheating, and also to the Singapore Medical Council for further investigation of the doctors involved in the claims.

 

More information can be found in MOH's press release here

 

Baker McKenzie

For further information, please contact:

 

Andy Leck, Principal, Baker & McKenzie.Wong & Leow

andy.leck@bakermckenzie.com