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MOH suspends 10 Access Medical clinics from Chas scheme, refers case to police

THE Ministry of Health (MOH) has suspended 10 clinics from the Community Health Assist Scheme (Chas) for severe non-compliance.

The suspension will take place from Oct 23, said MOH in a statement on Monday.

The clinics, which are all under the Access Medical group, had made numerous non-compliant Chas claims such as claims for patient visits or chronic conditions with no relevant supporting documentation. Audits by MOH on the Chas claims revealed these.

MOH added that the case has been referred to the police and it will be referring specific doctors involved to the Singapore Medical Council for further investigation.

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"MOH takes a serious view of errant practices in making Chas claims," said the statement.

The clinics that have been served the notices of suspension are: Access (Bedok South), Access (Circuit Road), Access (East Coast), Access (Kim Keat), Access (Marine Terrace), Access (Toa Payoh), Access (Whampoa), Access (Jurong West), Access (Redhill Close) and Access (Bukit Batok).

The clinics can continue providing medical treatment while suspended, but the treatment provided will not be covered by Chas subsidies.

MOH director of medical services Benjamin Ong said: "In line with the Singapore Medical Council's Ethical Code and Ethical Guidelines, doctors cannot abuse the doctor-patient relationship for personal gain. We remind all doctors to act in the best interest of the patient and uphold the highest standards of professionalism."

MOH said it encourages Chas patients to actively engage their doctors and dentists if they have any queries on their bills. If they come across any suspicious or unusual Chas claims made for them, they can contact MOH at 1800-225-4122.

THE STRAITS TIMES