NOTICE PAPER NO.1455
NOTICE OF QUESTION FOR WRITTEN ANSWER
FOR THE SITTING OF PARLIAMENT ON 7 NOVEMBER 2022
Name and Constituency of Member of Parliament
Mr Shawn Huang Wei Zhong
MP for Jurong GRC
Question No. 2311
To ask the Minister for Health (a) what are the top 10 medical consumables used in private and public hospitals; (b) what are the differences in median prices for such consumables between private and public hospitals; and (c) how are medical consumables sourced and priced in public hospitals to ensure that healthcare remains affordable and accessible to all.
The top 10 medical consumables by volume used in public hospitals, excluding personal protective equipment and cleaning supplies are: (a) alcohol swabs; (b) body wipes; (c) ear thermometer probe covers; (d) medicine cups; (e) kidney dishes; (f) gauze swabs; (g) swab sticks; (h) cotton wool balls; (i) adult diapers; and (j) hypodermic needles.
All of these consumables have unit cost of less than a dollar, with most having unit cost less than 10 cents. In general, the Ministry of Health does not determine prices of consumables charged by public and private hospitals. To improve transparency for patients, the Ministry of Health publishes on its website bill size information of public and private hospitals. This allows patients to make comparisons on bill sizes so that they can make informed choices on where to seek medical attention.
To continue to keep the cost of medical consumables low, the Ministry of Health ensures that the demand of public hospitals are consolidated to achieve economies of scale and that the consumables are procured through an open and competitive tendering process.