The S$26 million (US$20.4 million) bill that Singaporean Dr Susan Lim, 55, charged for her medical services to a woman member of Brunei’s royal family was eye-popping, to say the least.
That was for only five months of services provided from Jan 15 to June 16, 2007!
Documents filed in a Singapore Court provide details of the bills between 2004 and 2007, total S$40 million (US$31 million). This is not counting three years of charges for prior services.
The patient for whom these services were rendered was Pengiran Anak Hajah Damit, the younger sister of Brunei’s queen and a cousin of the Sultan.
Dr Lim treated the lady for breast cancer from 2001 until the patient died in August 2007.
These enormous bills were paid by Brunei, which means the Sultan.
Documents filed in the Singapore High Court court show that on the days for which services were rendered during this period, Dr Lim’s charges allegedly ranged from S$29,600 to S$660,000 per day, or US$ 23,215.50 and US$517,643 per day.
The report said a specialist, who was not named, treated the deceased and sent a bill for S$400, which Dr Lim bumped up to S$211,000. In another instance, another unnamed doctor charged S$500 but Dr Lim once again raised the price to S$93,500—nice little profit margins!
These and several other revelations of how Dr Lim charged her patient for treatment by other doctors were made in the High Court by Senior Counsel Alvin Yeo.
Representing the Singapore Medical Council (SMC), he cited the allegedly inflated bills to show there was a case for a disciplinary committee to launch an inquiry against the doctor. To date, the case has not been resolved.
Apart from her alleged avarice, Susan Lim is a highly qualified person. She is a graduate of Singapore’s elite Raffles Institution and was a very popular student. We understand that her boyfriend’s last name was Wong.
After Raffles Institution, Susan Lim was a top student at Australia’s Monash University.
Dr. Lim is widely known in Asia and Singapore for being the first surgeon to have performed a successful liver transplant in 1990. She is also known as the “Spirit of the Century”, an Award conferred upon her by Singapore in a national contest held to identify the role model for the 21st century.
We trust that Dr. Lim’s excessive charges do not derail the plans of the Singapore / Brunei merger.
The bottom line: Don’t go to Singapore for your “medical tourism.”