We thank Mr Chan Chong Leong for his letter, “Waive GST charges at GP clinics” (Oct 18).
Goods and services tax-registered organisations, including public hospitals and private clinics, have to charge GST on the value of their goods and services.
At government-funded public hospitals and polyclinics that are providing medical services for subsidised patients, the GST on these subsidised services is absorbed by the Government.
At GST-registered private general practitioner (GP) clinics, the GST on subsidised services is absorbed by the Government for government subsidy schemes where fees are capped, such as Screen-for-Life, and Vaccination and Childhood Developmental Screening Subsidies.
However, as the fees for other services that private GP clinics charge vary according to their business and operational considerations, the GST on these services is generally not absorbed by the Government. Instead, Singaporeans may receive subsidies, such as those under the Community Health Assist Scheme (CHAS), to help defray their total medical bills at participating private clinics.
On Mr Chan’s point about access to subsidised specialist services at restructured hospitals, we would like to clarify that CHAS clinics can already make subsidised referrals for CHAS cardholders who have been assessed to require specialist care at a public specialist outpatient clinic or a public dental national speciality centre, without going through a polyclinic.
Director (Subsidy and Subvention)
Healthcare Finance Division
Ministry of Health