Guide: Medical Care 101 – Hospital A&Es and Pediatricians

This is a short post on medical care. Unfortunately, while Baby E is only 2+ years old, she has already visited 3 hospital A&Es. The following is what we learnt about A&Es:

1. Pediatricians: Not all hospital has pediatricians on site at their A&Es. Mount Alvernia only has a GP while KKH and NUH have got pediatricians.

2. Hospitalisation insurance: I can’t emphasize more on having hospitalisation insurance, because apparently if you happen to be at Mount Alvernia, you could request for your child to be warded and for a pediatrician to be called, and then claim on your hospitalisation insurance. => this is what I hear from my financial advisor… haven’t actually done that before though.

3. Flat price: A&Es are equipped to do all the necessary checks at one flat price. You pay the consultation price and they do everything from xrays to scopes and you don’t have to pay more.

4. Wait time: KKH’s A&E have atrociously long queues. Actually all A&Es have really long queue, but NUH’s seem better than KKH’s. Waiting area is nicer too haha…
5. If your kid’s symptoms are bad, you get priority to see the doctor. It’s the hospital’s way of ensuring that the queue doesn’t get jammed up by what health economists call the ‘worried well’. ie. those who are not so sick but are just worried.

 

The next thing is, is there really a need to see a pediatrician?

We’ve been struggling with this one as well. Baby E was seeing a pediatrician until she passed 1 year old, then we found a GP who is pediatric trained. The cost was slightly lower than a pediatrician because the consultation fee is lower. Of course, he soon got even more famous and waiting time was insane. The wait was still better than SBCC (which Baby E was seeing initially) since they were willing to take appointments and call you when it’s nearing your turn. However, the last straw came when I called early in the morning and the nurse told me my appointment will be at 9.30pm. *Jaw dropped*

Out of desperation, we saw a GP and there was no turning back. It might be the type of medicine used, but fees were lower for the normal GP that does not have a pediatrician certificate and the medicine was still effective.

 

And just to share… The following is an indication of our medical cost:

Hospital A&Es: Approximately $108 depending on the hospital visited

SBCC: Usually adds up to about $160++. First consultation was $100 back then and subsequent consultations were $60 if I remember correctly.

GP with pediatrician certification: Usually adds up to about $60 to $110. $110 being when Baby E needs antibiotics. We noticed that the medication prescribed is the same as SBCC.

Normal GP: $25 to $44, depending on amount of medication obtained

 

For us, we’re ok with Baby E seeing a GP at 2 years old, but it’s up to individual’s preferences. What are your thoughts? At what age would you switch to a GP?

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