FROM next month, taxi drivers will pay less at general practitioner (GP) clinics in the Parkway Shenton medical group.
Consultation for acute illnesses such as coughs and colds, and up to three standard drugs, will cost $22 for the 13,000 members of the National Taxi Association (NTA). Ordinarily, the bill is $35 or more.
A cabby's family members will also be charged the lower rate.
MATTER OF CONVENIENCE
Taxi drivers would rather go to a nearby clinic than find a specific one.
- Cabby Foo Chee Young
The special treatment was agreed on in a memorandum of understanding signed yesterday between the NTA and Parkway Shenton.
The group has 30 clinics across the island, but only 19 are taking part.
As taxi drivers are not employees, they do not receive standard medical benefits.
However, members of the NTA, which is affiliated to the National Trades Union Congress, (NTUC) enjoy cheaper health screenings at Parkway Shenton clinics. They also pay similarly low GP fees of $23 at the clinics of Raffles Medical Group.
Cabby Foo Chee Young, 50, cheered the latest option, saying: 'Taxi drivers would rather go to a nearby clinic than find a specific one.'
In time, workers in other sectors may also get special GP rates at Parkway Shenton clinics.
The medical group is working on it with other NTUC member organisations, its chief executive Chai Chin Yoong said in a statement.
NTUC has 61 affiliated unions.
Earlier this month, the Tour Guide Chapter - many of whose members are freelancers, not employees - also secured cheaper fees for its members at Raffles Medical Group clinics. The chapter is part of the Attractions, Resorts & Entertainment Union.