• For Public
  • For Healthcare Professionals

Inquiries and Complaints Guide

15 Aug 2018

Overview

MOH is committed to providing an efficient and fair resolution of public disputes to enhance our healthcare delivery system. We recognise that things can sometimes go wrong.  We aim to respond positively to any complaints and improve our processes from your feedback.

To facilitate this process, we hope that the below step-by-step outline of procedures will be of help to you in lodging your specific concerns or complaints with the healthcare service providers or the Ministry.

Knowing how and where to channel your specific concerns could help you resolve the issue more speedily and saves you time and effort as well.

What can I do if I have a complaint?

You should initially raise your concern with the specific healthcare provider ie person dealing with your case. A simple misunderstanding may have arisen which can be easily resolved.  You may find that your question or complaint can be satisfied in this way, informally. However, if this is not possible, you can ask for the issue to be considered as an official complaint. At this stage, you can lodge your complaint with the Healthcare Institution (HCI) either in writing by letter or e-mail. It would be helpful if you could define the cause of your dissatisfaction in terms of the above criteria i.e. omission, lack of quality or inappropriate conduct. Get to know who your case manager is. In writing to the HCIs, please include your full particulars (ie. Name, NRIC, gender, age, contact address and contact number).


STAGE 1: ISSUES MANAGEMENT AT HEALTHCARE PROVIDER LEVEL

The list of issues and service response time is indicated for your reference. As responsible HCIs, they should try to resolve your concerns. If you are not satisfied with the person who you are dealing with, then ask to escalate it to the person’s reporting officer.

Nature of complaint Institution Response Time
Public/Private Healthcare Institutions

  • Change of appointment dates or requesting for an earlier appointment
  • Medical care management while being an inpatient or outpatient
  • Service quality of medical staff ie doctors, nurses, healthcare professionals
  • Queries on itemised billing and financial discrepancies

Specific Healthcare Institution (HCI)

Procedure:

As a Service Provider, the Healthcare Institution has the responsibility to assist you in the first instance and to clarify any misunderstandings. It also allows them to carry out any detailed investigations and to respond to your specific concerns. Please scroll down for a list of the HCIS and their contacts.

7 -21 days


STAGE 2: ESCALATION

If you are not satisfied with the reply from the healthcare institution you complained against, you can write to MOH, SMC, SNB, SDC, Singapore Mediation Centre or the private healthcare institutions listings, according to the nature of your complaint. In proceeding with this stage, please furnish the stage two institutions with the original complaint, all the written correspondences between the HCI and yourself/family.

Nature of complaintInstitutionResponse Time
  • National healthcare or health finance policy queries
  • Public health safety issues and feedback to MOH for review or consideration

Ministry of Health

Procedure:

http://www.moh.gov.sg/content/moh_web/home/about-us/feedback.html

Tel: 1-800-225-4122

MOH has an electronic system that logs in each public query and assigns a system number with a date and time stamp. This enables the web administrator to respond in a timely manner and allow for query tracking if needed.

7 - 21 days

  • Professional conduct of a specific doctor

Singapore Medical Council

Procedure:

Complaints against medical practitioners are dealt with under Section 40 of the Medical Registration Act 1997.The complainant must state the full facts of his case and his allegations clearly in his letter of complaint against the doctor.

https://www.healthprofessionals.gov.sg/smc/information-for-public-patients/submitting-a-complaint

Statutory Declaration form

The Complaints Committee can only proceed with the investigation after it has received an official complaint in writing and supported by a Statutory Declaration.

Statutory Declaration form

 

General enquiries:

3 - 7 working days

Complex cases:

at least 9 months

 

  • Professional conduct of a specific nurse

Singapore Nursing Board

Procedure:

The board regulates the professional conduct and practice of registered nurses, enrolled nurses, registered midwives and Advanced Practice Nurses. It looks into cases of court convictions, misconduct or negligence and health matters that affects fitness to practice.

(1). Complaints that are not related to professional misconduct should be directed to the respective employing institutions.

(2). Should there be an issue of professional misconduct, please write to the Board, with clear specific details of complaints including dates, place of incident and the name of the nurse/midwife. Name and contact information of the complainant must be included and attention to :

snb_contact@snb.gov.sg

Tel: 64785414, 64785417, 64785416

General enquiries: 

7 working days

Complex cases:

5 – 6 mths

  • Professional conduct of a specific dentist

Singapore Dental Council

Procedure:

The Council will look into cases where there is professional misconduct, performance impaired by ill health or conviction.

Statutory Declaration form

https://www.healthprofessionals.gov.sg/sdc/members-of-public

Tel : 6355-2405

Resolution without SD: 

3 wks – 1 mth

Resolution with SD:

3 mths – 1 yr

  • Billing disputes and other complaints against dentist or dental clinics

Singapore Dental Association

Complaints other than those of professional misconduct are directed to the Complaints Handling Committee of the Singapore Dental Association for mediation.

e-mail:admin@sda.org.sg

Tel : 6220-2588

Resolution as soon as up to 2 months

  • Professional conduct of a specific pharmacist

Singapore Pharmacy Council

Procedure:

The Council regulates the professional conduct and ethics of registered pharmacists. It will look into cases where there is professional misconduct, performance impaired by ill health or conviction in a court of law.

The Complaints Committee can only proceed with the investigation after it has received an official complaint in writing and supported by a Statutory Declaration.

Statutory Declaration form

Instructions on putting up a Statutory Declaration

Tel : 6478-5068, 6478-5063, 6478-5067

General enquiries:

3 - 7 working days

  • Medical care and management
  • Service quality
  • Billing and financial disputes

MOH Holdings Pte Ltd, Healthcare Mediation Scheme

The Healthcare Mediation Scheme (HMS) promotes the use of mediation to resolve disputes between patients and healthcare institutions. At the mediation, independent mediators help parties achieve a mutually acceptable agreement by offering new perspectives in a confidential joint problem-solving process.

The mediators will not fault-find or decide the case. Instead, the mediators assist parties in customising a comprehensive solution, which may include an explanation of medical opinions and findings, bill payment terms, financial compensation, or closed-door apology.

Under HMS, parties enjoy subsidised mediation services. Parties can obtain more information on the fees as well as free mediation advice at the HMS Helpline 6622 3755 or email to mediate@mohh.com.sg.

1 - 2 days during mediation

Role of the Medical Mediation Scheme in the public healthcare complaints management system

Dispute Framework