We reported yesterday on a 25 minutes long telephone conversation between an angry CGH patient and the staff of CGH’s business department. In the video clip of the conversation, the patient railed at the CGH staff for using legal debt collectors to recover $37 he owed to the hospital. He claimed that the debt collector’s tone was harsh and it intimidated his wife and kids.
The man also questioned why a Government-run hospital, needed to use debt collection agencies to recover their money. Why can’t the hospitals be more compassionate and find out the actual situation before resorting to such heavy handed tactics, he asked.
The hospital has acknowledged that the phone conversation happened and apologised for using a debt collector to get a patient to settle his outstanding medical bills. The man had made repayment arrangements with one of CGH’s employees earlier, but that staff failed to inform the hospital’s billing office about it.
The man admitted that he ignored the 3 warning letters from CGH because he made arrangements to settle the outstanding $37 bill during his next visit to the hospital.
The hospital said that it would send payment reminders to patients one month after it was incurred and that debt collection agencies will be activated if there is no response after six months. CGH did not say when exactly the patient’s bill was incurred, but only that it has been outstanding since late 2016.
CGH however defended the debt collection agent saying that it reviewed the recording and came to the conclusion that the agent was not intimidating or harsh, and acted according to established protocols.
CGH further stressed that its debt recovery agencies are appointed after rigorous assessment and are required to work within strict protocols.