Talk about increasing medical bills...now made worst by administrative charges. According to the receptionist I spoke to, the admin charge is regardless of whatever reason you (the patient or relative) have, as long as you and not the doctor/specialist are the one who initiates the change.
Edited...brought forward here some of my replies below, as most people do not read through the long thread
... I did ask the receptionist and her reply was that it was across the board. It's no charge only when it is initiated by the Doctor/Specialist. In my case, I gave notice more than a week as the need had arisen only then. I told her what was my mum's situation and why the need to change, but she said it is an across the board charge.
On the other hand, "Change of Appointment" had always been part of "Service" or accepted as part of Service of a company. It looks like that service culture is going to change in order to contain abuse. But abusing a service is found everywhere, there will always be some bad eggs within a basket. So are the good eggs going to be punished too?
Changing appointments is part and parcel of an Appointment system. Abuse is bound to happen anywhere. Now it is looking like with a stroke of hand, in wiping out abuse (if indeed, this is the reason), a charge is slapped on everybody good and bad. By charging for it, the Service provider is effectively saying "No more Service for changing of appointments". "Change of Appointments" is now like medicine or consultation.
And if the precedent is set by a Government hospital...other private institution would want to do the same...then what are we faced with.
On TTSH website, under Change of Appointment, there is zero mention of charging. Right now, we are seeing another instance of lack of transparency or is it a case of some "hero" somewhere trying to prove something.
We don't know if this is specific to TTSH or other hospitals and polyclinics and worst, GPs are practising this!
Spree86: "Was the appointment randomly allocated to you or did they consult you beforehand? The last time I brought my mum to a specialist at TTSH, the counter staff confirmed the date with us before putting down the date for the next appointment."
No, it is always an "agreed" date in advance. But who can foretell if any unforeseen circumstances will or will not force a change in appointment? That is why all organizations with an Appointment System in place recognize the need for change. TTSH even has phone numbers and a webpage assigned specifically for "Change of Appointment".
My mum is on long-term outpatient Specialist care at TTSH and there are scheduled appointments like quarterly or bi-monthly. The next appointment is always pre-scheduled in advance. Todate for the last few years we have been able to keep to appointment dates, but only this time, a re-scheduling had to be made. I requested the change more than a week prior to that appointment, so that gives them sufficient time for whatever is needed. But I was surprised when I was told that they are charging $10 admin fee for the change.