Thursday, March 30, 2006

Unefficiency of KK Hospital's Billing System

My son Irza was admitted to KK Hospital on 16 February 2006. During admission procedure at the Children's Emergency, the staff gave me an exaggerated estimation of the total hospital bill. Even for the C class ward, this is the estimated bill size:

ICU and treatment charges: $1,377.60
Ward and treatment charges: $456.40
Estimated investigations, tests and medication/drug charges: $17,500.00

Total: $19,334.00

Medisave claimable: $10,500.00

Estimated amount to be paid: $8,834.00

Initial payment to be paid: $9,000.00

Therefore, the staff asked me to make the initial payment of $9,000! That is on top of the $65 I have paid for the A&E (emergency) attendance fee. I was shocked that I would need to make such hefty initial payment only to admit my son to hospital. I was wondering, how about those who cannot afford to make such initial payment? Does it mean that those people will not be able to admit their children to the hospital?

In a state of anxiety due to my son's health condition, I didn't have any other choices except to pay the hefty initial payment. Luckily I have a credit card which has such the high limit.

My son was discharged from the hospital on 20 February 2006. They told me that I would not be able to get the details of the final bill size on the spot. The details will be sent via post in two weeks time. Any refund, if there's any, will be sent via cheque via post as well.

Two weeks has passed since the day of discharge, and I haven't received the final bill yet. And yet, I needed it urgently for me to claim the medical bills from my insurance company. So, on Tuesday, 7 March 2006, I rang the hospital's billing department again to ask for the status, and they said that they were still finalising the details and I shall received the final bill in one to two days time.

Two days has passed, and I haven't received the details. So on Thursday, 9 March 2006, I called them again. They said that the final bill is on the way, nevertheless they will send another copy in case I don't receive it.

I finally got the tax invoice from KK Hospital on Friday, 10 March 2006. Do you know how much is the total bill size? Only $810.97 (including the $65 A&E attendance fee), and all were covered by my Medisave account. Therefore, I needed to pay nothing, and they would refund me $9,065.00 for the excess payment. Sound ridiculous, eh? So I made the initial payment of $9,000.00 for nothing!

I was thinking that the cheque will be sent together with the tax invoice. I was wrong! The invoice mentioned that the cheque for any refund due will be sent in due course. OK, never mind, meaning I would not be able to get my money back in time before I went to Jakarta for a one-week holiday. On Friday itself, I immediately made a copy of the tax invoice and submitted it to my company's HR department for them to process the insurance claim. I left for Jakarta on 11 March 2006, hoping that I shall get the cheque once I come back.

Sunday, 19 March 2006, I came back to Singapore and was surprised to find out that I haven't received the cheque in my mailbox. The next day, I rang KK Hopsital again and they informed me that they were still processing the cheque! It was almost a month since my son was discharged from the hospital. Why they needed such a bloody long time only to refund other people's money??

Time went by, and after numerous desperate calls to the hospital for the whole week, I finally got the cheque on Saturday, 25 March 2006. Does the story end here? No! Again, I was shocked to find out that the beneficiary name is wrong! They have mispelled my name on the cheque, making me impossible to clear the cheque! Oh My God! Amazing!

I made another call to the hospital, and since it was Saturday evening, I was told that the business office has been closed for the day. Well I didn't care, I was asked to be escalated to higher authority who can ensure that I can get back my money by that day. The staff then transferred me to the Children's Emergency, because it's the only department which is opened during that time. Again, I was confused, how can the emergency department assist me on billing/refund issues?

Never mind, I then spoke to the staff from the children's emergency, and explained again the situation. Basically, no matter what, I wanted to have my money back by that day. She said that she would transfer me to a 24-hour on-call business officer, but after the phone was transferred, it got cut off. I tried desperately to call back the children's emergency hotline, but nobody picked up even though I tried several times. They might be busy attending sick children over there, and I didn't want to bug them with some billing issues. So I decided to gave up, and planned to call the business office on Monday instead.

On Monday, 27 March 2006, I called the business office, and informed the staff about the wrong beneficiary name on the cheque. The staff advised me to come to their office for me to get the refund in cash! You can imagine, $9,065 in cash! Even the staff was surprised to hear that the refund amount was $9,065. I asked her whether I can get a cheque instead, but she said it's best for me to have it in cash instead.

OK, finally I can get my money back on Wednesday, 29 March 2006, when I went to the business office at the 4th floor of the Children's Tower, in cash. After which, I immediately went to the POSB Newton Branch nearby to bank it in. Total, it takes 1 month and 9 days for me to get my money back, since the day of discharge. I was wondering whether I can claim the interests for the money they keep for the more than one month period? Even in Singapore which has low interest fees, with 1% annual interest fee, I can get $7.50 from a $9,000 amount within a month, enough for me to buy 5 hamburgers from McDonalds.


PS. The Indonesian version of this post can be found here.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Safari Indonesian Noodle House

One of the places I can visit in Singapore if I want to have Indonesian style chicken noodle soup, is the Safari Indonesian Noodle House stall, in Seah Im Food Court. Seah Im Food Court is actually more to a hawker centre instead of food court, since it's open air and it's not air-conditioned. It's located just next to the Harbourfront bus interchange, opposite the Harbourfront Centre. The stall is located at the eastern end, near the bus bay where the Sentosa buses depart.

The portion is quite big, and the price is reasonable. Basic chicken noodle soup is sold at $2.50 per bowl. Mushroom chicken noodle soup, meatballs chicken noodle soup and wanton chicken noodle soup are sold at $3.00 per bowl, and more combination of the above will cost more. On top of that, they also sell Indonesian-style ribs soup and oxtail soup, but I haven't tried those.

Unfortunately, looks like the stall does not open every day. After two successful trips earlier, today (Tuesday, 28/3) I tried to go there again with my wife during lunch time, and it's closed. Not too sure whether it's closed on Tuesdays, or whether it's now closed permanently. Hopefully not!

Read the Indonesian version of this post.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

New shopping malls around Jakarta

One of the growing trends in many big cities in Asia, including Singapore, Jakarta and other big cities in the region, is the increasing numbers of new shopping malls being built. Looks like now, going to malls is one of the most popular pastimes for almost everyone in the region, including Indonesia, particularly Jakarta and some of other big cities in Indonesia.

I have never been to certain parts of Jakarta since I've lived in Singapore in the past 6 years. Last week, I had a chance to visit Depok, a suburb town just south of Jakarta, which I used to visit frequently since that's where my university campus is located. And I am really surprised to see the development of Depok in the past decade, especially the development of the shopping malls around the area.

Just a couple of hundred meters away from my campus, I saw a new big shopping mall, Depok Town Square, which is better known as "Detos". Across the road, there's another big shopping mall which is on the last phase of completion. Near the bus terminal, there's another shopping mall, ITC Depok, with Carrefour hypermart as the anchor tenant.

The one I managed to visit is the Depok Town Square (see left picture). It's a very big mall, unfortunately it's a bit empty, probably because it's quite new. There's the big Matahari hypermart on the basement, and some stores and restaurants on the ground and first floor. The higher the floor, the emptier it is.

A bit nearer to my family's house in Cinere, there's also a new shopping mall being opened in Lebak Bulus area. It's called Poins Square (see right picture), with the Giant hypermart on the basement floor as the anchor tenant. The location is exactly opposite the Carrefour hypermart nearby. Wow, what a great competition! The mall is quite big, almost as big as Depok Town Square, except it has more open stores compared to Detos, which is fairly empty.

Another newly built shopping mall, which is actually not really new but I only managed to visit it last week, is Pondok Indah Mall (PIM) 2, which is located just across the road from the famous PIM 1. It's connected to PIM 1 with two bridges, giving seamless connection between the two malls. Compared to Poins Square or Detos which is more for middle class, PIM 2 is more for the high class, with high class shops and restaurants, similar to Ngee Ann City (Takashimaya) in Singapore. Nevertheless, the new food court at the third floor is worth visiting, with almost all cuisines available, from Soto Betawi, Fiesta Steak to KFC.

Read the Indonesian version of this post.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Blogger/Blogspot Performance Issue

Recently, I always have some performance issues on all my blogs hosted by Blogspot. The problem usually happened during evening to night our time (or morning to afternoon US time). Strangely, I seldom have this problem during morning our time (or evening/night US time). Looks like the problem is due to more and more blogs hosted by Blogspot, causing degradation on the performance of the server(s) hosting the blogs.

When the problem happens, it takes longer for me to load the blogs, and also it takes longer for me to access site for me to update the blogs. But the most irritating part is when I want to upload an inline image to the blog. After I click "Add Image", choose the image and then click "Upload Image", sometimes I will just get blank screen on the pop-up. Sometimes, I can get the message saying that the image has been uploaded, but after I click "Done", I don't see the image on my compose blog window. And I have to do it all over again, several times until the image is really uploaded, and it's really frustating.

Sometimes, I would just compose the text first and save the post as draft, and wait until the next morning (when I seldom have the problem) for me to upload all the images and then publish the post.

I have been thinking for quite some time to move my blog to another blogging provider, especially those WordPress-based such as, but up until now I have not decided to move yet, and still want to stick with Blogspot. But, if the issue keeps on dragging, I don't know how can I tahan and I might need to move to another blogging provider soon.

Anyone experiences the same problem?

Read the Indonesian version of this post.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Nice Food in Batam

This list of nice food in Batam is compiled based on information provided by Tyty Hadi, which was posted on the indo-sing mailing list. You might find this list handy when you're visiting Batam and don't know where to go to find good food. :)
  1. Golden Prawn Seafood - 8 kilometers from Nagoya town centre towards Bengkong. Nice seafood, and you can choose your own live seafood.
  2. Martabak Sari Eco - Indonesian type of murtabak, choices of beef murtabak (martabak daging), with big meat inside the murtabak, and "full moon" murtabak (martabak terang bulan), with any kind of filling you can choose yourself, from cheese, peanut, chocolate rice, etc. It's located next to the Nagoya Plaza Hotel, in Nagoya.
  3. Pempek Palembang "Kolekta" - Fishcake served with Palembang-special sweet and sour soya sauce. You can buy them raw and get them packed for you to cook yourself in Singapore. They serve all type of fishcake, you just need to order. It's located along Jalan Taman Indah, Blok 3 No. 11-12.
  4. Sop Seafood Istemewa Yongkee - Serves all kind of soup, such as fish soup, prawn soup, squid soup, fish head soup, tom yam soup, and mixed seafood soup. It's located in Nagoya City Center Complex, Blok E No. 8-9 Lubuk Baja.
  5. Soto Medan - Serves Medan-style of chicken noodles soup with beef balls. The price is only a mere 8,000 rupiahs per bowl. The address: "Safana Baru Coffee Shop", Jalan Lubuk Baja 1 Komp. Wijaya Kusuma Blok E No 8, Nagoya.
  6. Ikan Bakar Pak Ndut - Quite a big grilled fish, served with chilli. The address: Kompleks Inti Sakti Blok E No. 1-2 Nagoya.
  7. Sate Asih - Sells mutton satay for 14,000 rupiahs per portion, and mutton soup for 13,000 rupiahs. Nice. Address: Bengkong Harapan, Blok C No. 83-84.

So, when can we go together to Batam to have some good food? :) :)

Read the Indonesian version of this post.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Kang Budi is coming to SG 16-19 March 2006

Kang Budi Rahardjo, one of only a few premier Indonesian IT pioneers, will be coming to Singapore between 16 and 19 March 2006. Even though his main purpose is to visit his daughter who is studying here in Singapore, however he also would like to have the opportunity to meet some of Indonesian IT people in Singapore, to just meet-up and have some discussions.

Unfortunately, I would not be able to meet him because during the period, I will be in Jakarta for a short holiday... I remember the last time I met Kang Budi was during the APRICOT meeting in Kuala Lumpur, dated way back in 2001.

So, guys, it's a good opportunity for you to meet him here in Singapore. :)

Read the Indonesian version of this post.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Missing girl's body found, another Huang Na case returns :(

Astaghfirullah! Only recently we were saddened by the tragic Huang Na case, which was found dead after missing for several weeks, right now Singapore has another case of a missing girl, which eventually ends tragically after the body of the missing girl was found.

Taken from Police have found the body believed to be that of the 2-year-old girl Nurasyura Mohamed Fauzi who went missing earlier this week. Police found the body under the Aljunied Flyover at 4pm after a 3-hour search on Saturday. The suspect is believed to be the girl's stepfather.

I am really shocked to hear that people can do such a barbaric act like that. And I am wondering, why those acts are usually done by a person close to the victim. Take an example, Huang Na was murdered by her mother's friend, who was close to the victim and was supposed to help taking care of her while her mother went back to China (although I still don't understand how can a mother just leave her daughter in Singapore for China and leave her alone to be supervised by some "friends"). And now, if what the police suspects is true, Nurasyura was being murdered by her own stepfather, who is supposed to take care of her as if she's his own daughter.

Astaghfirullah! How can it happen?

Crime can happen anytime, to anyone, even in Singapore, which is undoubtly considered one of the safest city in Asia, if not the world. Crime rate in Singapore is low, but it doesn't mean there's no crime at all. We still have to ensure that we safeguard our children, to ensure that they are OK. Just because Singapore is safer than Jakarta, for example, it doesn't mean that you have to let your guard down even if you live here in Singapore...

Read the Indonesian version of this post.

Friday, March 03, 2006

Some "life" on bemo-batavia mailing list

Ah! In the past couple of days, the bemo-batavia mailing list is fruitfully (or junkfully?) fuelled with e-mails from old friends. With the comebacks of old friends like Eko Budhi Harsono (ex-Jaknet BBS sysop) and RiO Suharjo, some other old good friends like Boyke Bader, Harry Sufehmi, Djoko Kris Sundoro, Arief W. Nugraha and Abimanyu Wachjoewidajat suddenly voiced out their e-mails on the mailing list, after kept their silence for years! :) Wow, how I missed their e-mails so much! :D :D

But ah! Based on experience, this is usually seasonal. I believe, in a couple of days time, it will soon be quiet again... especially since it's been a long time since I saw T.A. Coen's and Kukuh T.W.'s e-mails on the mailing list...

Ah! :) :)

PS. You can click here if you want to know more about BemoNet. Ironically, it's written by someone who is not a Bemonet user, but does really care to document anything related to the IT development in Indonesia in the early decades...

Read the Indonesian version of this post.