Singapore software error caused 7,700 to get wrong CHAS subsidies

According to Strait Times report, around 7,700 Singaporeans who applied for and renewed their Community Health Assist Scheme (Chas) cards in September and October last year received incorrect healthcare subsidies due to an error in the software administered by NCS.

The Ministry of Health (MOH) said in a statement on Saturday (Feb.16th) that the computer system had miscalculated the tests results of these individuals.

The NCS said that the error arose when an “isolated case of human error” caused an inaccurate version of the software to be deployed during a system migration.

However, according to the report, the MOH said on Saturday that corrections have been made and that those affected by the error do not need to take any further action, at least, for now.

Healthcare subsidies

The report also notes, that 1,300 individuals received lower subsidies estimated to be around $400K (£309) while another 6,400 individuals received higher subsidies and will not have to return the additional subsidies reimbursed, the MOH said.

“MOH intends to recover from NCS the costs and expenses incurred as a result of this incident, as allowed for under our contract,” a MOH spokesperson said.

The means-test system calculates the healthcare subsidies which individuals are eligible for based on their income details. For example, lower-income households receive greater financial aid than others.

The first case was detected in September of last year, and NCS was immediately alerted, MOH said.

“The issue was initially attributed to intermittent network connection problems. Five more cases were subsequently detected between Oct 9 and Nov 2, and a more thorough investigation was initiated,” added the health ministry.

NCS deputy chief executive Ng Kuo Pin said the firm is aware of the error and has tightened its system deployment processes to prevent any reoccurrences from happening in the future.

“As a vendor, we are accountable to MOH, our client, and we regret the error and inconvenience caused to our fellow Singaporeans,” he added.


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