2 clinics suspended from participating in Chas for making false claims and flouting guidelines

Phoenix Dental Surgery in Ang Mo Kio.
PHOTO: ST

Two dental clinics will be suspended from participating in the Community Health Assist Scheme (Chas) for making false claims and flouting guidelines, said the Ministry of Health (MOH) on Wednesday (June 22).

The suspension affects Phoenix Dental Surgery's clinics at Ang Mo Kio and at Marine Parade, and is the first case of suspension from Chas.

The statement said that audits revealed that both clinics have continuously made claims that are non-compliant with MOH rules and regulations.

The includes a number of claims for procedures which, based on audit findings, were not performed.

The two clinics were informed of these findings in May this year.

Chas is a national programme which benefits Singaporeans from lower- to middle-income households, as well as all Pioneer Generation Singaporeans. Under the programme, those eligible can receive subsidies for medical and dental care at participating general practitioners and dental clinics.

MOH said that aside from the Chas suspension, it has also referred the matter to the police for investigation into possible criminal offences.

"MOH will review the situation, taking into consideration the status of the police investigations, before considering if the clinics can resume their participation in Chas," said the statement.

The clinics will also need to prove to MOH that they have taken all steps to rectify all past non-compliances and are able to ensure future compliances.

Dentists at the clinics can continue to practise in accordance with their registration with the Singapore Dental Council.

However, treatments performed by dentists at these clinics during the period of suspension will not be eligible for Chas subsidy.

Both clinics have also been directed to inform their Chas and Pioneer Generation patients that they will no longer be able to benefit from the subsidies from the date of suspension.

Chas and Pioneer Generation cardholders who wish to check the Chas subsidies that clinics have claimed for them can do so by logging in to the "My Chas" module on the Chas website (www.chas.sg) or by calling the Chas hotline (1800-275-2427).

sujint@sph.com.sg

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