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Health Minister Khaw comments on medical negligence in hospitals

In Parliament last week, Health Minister Khaw Boon Wan spoke on the issue of medical negligence in response to questions from Member of Parliament (MP) Lee Bee Wah. He informed that, over the last five years, there were three cases of alleged medical negligence in Singapore's public hospitals that went to trial. In all three cases, the courts ruled in favour of the hospitals.

For cases that were settled out-of-court, there was an average of eight a year. Details of these cases were not known to the Health Ministry as non-disclosure terms were usually part of the settlements.

Singapore starts means testing in hospitals

Singapore has introduced means testing for public hospital patients starting 1 January 2009. From the first day of the new year, the government will start assessing new patients' entitlement to subsidies for class B2 and class C wards based on their tax-declared incomes or, for non-working patients, the value of their homes.

While income disclosure itself is not mandatory, patients who refuse to do so, effectively opt out of the scheme, and will have their subsidies minimized, similar to that of the highest earning group - currently 50% for class B2 and 65% for class C wards.

SNEC acquires new laser amidst competitive Lasik market

The Singapore National Eye Centre (SNEC) announced, 17 Nov 2008, the acquisition and commissioning of a new laser system for its Lasik eye surgery services. The new generation VisuMax Femtosecond laser from Carl Zeiss is the latest addition to its existing IntraLase and Femtec lasers used for creating the corneal flap in blade-less Lasik operations.

The SNEC listed the benefits of the new laser as :

  • having less likelihood of side-effects and complications arising from surgery, due to its lower power (1/3 to 1/4 the power of other lasers) and other features;