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During Your Consultation

During Your Consultation

Arrival at the Clinic

Please arrive at least 10 minutes before your registration time. You may register via the self-registration kiosk, using HealthBuddy mobile app or at the registration counter. Observe safe distancing when you are in our premises.

Registration

Upon registration, you will be issued a queue ticket and advised which consultation room your doctor is in. Please take a seat while you wait for your number to be flashed on the queue system monitor at the waiting area as well as outside the consultation room. Please note that consultation is by appointment and not on a first-come-first-serve basis. 

On your first visit, you will be given an Outpatient Appointment Card to record details of your appointments.

You can also register using HealthBuddy ('Mobile Reg' & 'Queue Update'). This function is only available at Diabetes & Metabolism Centre, Musculotskeletal Centre, Obstetrics & Gynaecology Clinic, Orthopaedic Sports & Joint Centre and clinical services at OCH/SingHealth Tower Level 3.

After Your Consultation (Drop & Go)

Opt for Drop and Go. You can leave right after your consultation and skip waiting to make a payment or scheduling your next visit.

Payment

You will receive an SMS notifying you of your final bill 1 to 7 days after your appointment. You may settle your bill via our online payment system, using AXS machine or 7-eleven.

Follow-up appointment

You will receive an SMS regarding your follow up appointment (if any) the next day. The appointment letter will also be mailed to your address. You can change your appointments using the appointment system or HealthBuddy app.

You can also ask our care team about our video consultation service. We are offering the option of remotely attending your medical appointments for selected services. You will be connected to a member of your clinical care team in the Hospital via a secure video conferencing platform, accessible on your smartphone or computer.

Collecting Your Medicine

Skip the queue and opt for Medication Delivery service to have your medications delivered to your home of office for free. Alternatively, you may visit any of our outpatient pharmacies to get your SGH prescription filled.




Frequently Asked Questions

Why do I have to wait when I have made an appointment?

The outpatient clinics see about 3,000 patients daily. Patients are seen according to their registration times to prevent the situation where many patients will try to come early and expect to be seen first. It would then create confusion and many patients would then end up waiting even longer. It also causes over-crowding at the clinics. 

The queue number reflects the patient’s scheduled registration time. Even if you come earlier, your queue number will still reflect your registration time. However, if you arrive later than your scheduled registration time, your queue number would follow your time of arrival. This is to allow the clinics to manage their patient load more efficiently and fairly. 

Although patients are given appointed time to see specialists, they often have to wait because consultation for each patient varies depending on the complexity of the conditions. Priority may be given to patients who need immediate attention. Doctors may also be held up or called away from the clinic to attend to emergency cases. 

To keep the waiting time for an appointment short, the clinics will also accommodate a few additional appointments in the doctors' clinic sessions to compensate for patients who may not show up for the appointment. The waiting time at the clinic would be prolonged if all patients were to turn up. 

As for the patients you saw entering the consultation room without being called, these are patients returning for a review of results from any investigation or test ordered by the doctor, when they saw the doctor earlier. 

Why do we need to wait for hours, or even days, for laboratory results?

Doctors regularly send samples of blood, tissues and swabs of bodily fluids to hospital laboratories to confirm the presence of a wide range of diseases. Such tests are essential for the accurate diagnosis and effective management of patients. 

Some standard tests such as measuring the full blood count or blood glucose level require about an hour to be processed. However, the majority of routine tests can take as little as a few hours to as long as several days to complete. 

Special or complex tests may take anywhere from three days to a month before results are available. For example, if a patient is suspected of having a tuberculosis infection, the doctor will need to take a sample of the patient’s sputum for laboratory examination. At the lab, the sputum is cultured; meaning the suspected bacteria in the sputum is grown so that it can undergo various tests. This usually takes three to four weeks. 

Another example will be chromosome tests, where it may take about two weeks to culture the patient’s cells before actual tests on the cells can be done. 

For patients who may have HIV, a second set of tests to confirm HIV-positive status has to be done at the National Reference HIV Laboratory at Singapore General Hospital’s Department of Pathology. 

Once the tests are completed, the results are sent to the patient’s doctor or clinical team for interpretation and review. They will decide on the best way to manage the condition before the patient is informed about his or her diagnosis and proposed treatment plan. 

Why do I need to fast overnight before a blood test? Will patients taking tests that require fasting be given priority over others?

Blood tests are done to check for pregnancy, diabetes, cholesterol and vitamin and mineral problems. There are two main groups of tests that require fasting - blood sugar and lipids tests. Some examples include those measuring levels of blood glucose for patients suffering from diabetes, and triglycerides for heart patients. 

During the day, the normal range of blood sugar and lipids undergoes changes, depending on the ingestion of food and drink. For instance, the concentration of of triglycerides – a type of fat in the blood that is often tested as an indicator of heart health – increases after a meal. 

The effects of a meal on the levels of certain chemical substances in the blood used for analysis can be felt even after 12 hours. So by fasting overnight, a blood test result will not be influenced by a recent meal. 

Certain food components can interfere with the analysis of some types of test. For example, a meal rich in fats can cause cloudiness in a blood sample, which may compromise the accuracy of the laboratory analysis. 

Most of these food-related changes are temporary and can be controlled by a simple overnight fast. 

About 80 per cent of the tests done every day at SGH require fasting. Therefore, patients who are not required to fast are recommended to go for their tests in the afternoon when the polyclinics and SGH specialist outpatient clinical laboratory are less crowded. They should also avoid the day before and after a public holiday when more patients are expected to turn up for tests.

Which doctor will I see? 

Subsidised patients will receive team-based care led by an assigned specialist. Non-subsidised patients will receive team-based care led by their choice of specialist. Please be assured that patients receive the same quality of care regardless of their subsidy status. 

How many patients are there before me? 

Most of our clinics provide queue reminders via SMS. You may visit other areas within the hospital while waiting to see your doctor. You will receive an SMS alert when there are about three persons before you. You can also download the Healthbuddy mobile app to track the queue number.

What is Drop & Go?

The Drop & Go initiative at SGH SOCs allows patients to make payment at their convenience thus saving time on making payment at the clinic. You will receive an SMS regarding your follow up appointment (if any) the next day. The appointment letter will also be mailed to your address. You will receive an SMS notifying you of your final bill 1 to 7 days after your appointment.  After which, you may make payment via Healthy buddy or our other available modes of payment. During this period of COVID-19, we wish to encourage you to use Drop & Go to reduce your wait time in the hospital to minimise exposure as much as possible.

What if I did not receive the SMS to notify me for payment?

You may check if your bill is ready for payment by logging in to Health Buddy, Health Hub or Online Payment portal with your SingPass. As it may take our system some time to process it, you will receive an SMS notifying you of your final bill 1 to 7 days after your appointment.

Sample of SMS sent to patients:

Sample SMS on bill

If I need an invoice and receipt for insurance/work claims, how do I go about to get it?

Yyou will be able to view and print the tax invoice through the highlighted link of your invoice number, which can be found on Health Buddy/ Health Hub/ SGH Online Payment Portal. Once you have paid through our modes of payment, the Payment Acknowledgement/ Receipt will be sent to the e-mail address you have provided.

How do I pay using on SGH Online Payment Portal?

SGH Website

  1. Click “eServices” and select “Pay Online”
  2. Log in using SingPass
  3. Select your name. Your total amount to be settled should appear in the next page.
  4. Click on “Proceed to Payment”.
  5. Fill up the Payor Information (Full Name, Contact Number and e-mail address) Payment acknowledgement will be sent to the e-mail address provided.
  6. Select payment option and enter payment details.
  7. An OTP sent to your mobile phone will be required to confirm the payment.
  8. Once payment is successful, payment acknowledgement will be sent to the e-mail address provided.

Making Payment on any above platforms without SingPass

  1. Select “Proceed without SingPass”
  2. Click on “Add Other Bill(s).
  3. Select Institution and enter invoice/case number. Details of the bill you wish to pay for should appear in the next page.
  4. Click on “Proceed to Payment”.
  5. Fill up the Payor Information (Full Name, Contact Number and e-mail address) Payment acknowledgement will be sent to the e-mail address provided.
  6. Select payment option and enter payment details.
  7. An OTP sent to your mobile phone will be required to confirm the payment.
  8. Once payment is successful, payment acknowledgement will be sent to the e-mail address provided.

Is this mode of payment safe?

Be assured that the modes of payments on our various platforms are secured and safe as they all require you to log in through your SingPass. If you are not logging in through SingPass, you will be required to enter the OTP sent to your mobile phone as a 2-Factor Authorisation.

How do I know my appointment date and time when I use Drop & Go service?

After your consultation, our staff will book the follow-up appointment. The details of the appointment will be sent to you via SMS. A hardcopy of the appointment letter will also be sent to you.  May we trouble you to ensure that your mobile number is updated? You can update your mobile number on the Health Buddy app.

How do I change my appointment?

You may change your appointment on Health Buddy/ Health Hub or on our SGH website. You may also contact our Central Appointment Line at 6321 4377 for assistance with changing your appointments.