Singapore clinic chain owed staff some $3.9 million in wages

This salary issue comes after reports last month stating that bad loans led to Healthway Medical Group recording a net loss of S$40.2 million in 2016. 

Singapore private clinic chain Healthway Medical Group reportedly did not pay salaries to its doctors and senior managers for the month of February.

Healthway, which operates nearly 100 clinics across Singapore, admitted that the outstanding wages amounted to some S$3.9 million.

The Ministry of Manpower told The Straits Times after a visit to the group’s head office that it “will take appropriate action if Healthway fails to fulfil this basic obligation expected of an employer”.

A Healthway spokesperson said later the group is already in the process of resolving payments and that only a few locums are still owed payment.

Last year, 62 employers were convicted under the Employment Act for failing to pay worker salaries.

Under the Employment Act, employers must pay employees’ salaries at least once a month and within seven days after the end of the salary period. There are exceptions for overtime, resignation without notice and other situations.

This salary issue comes after reports of parent company Healthway Medical Corporation’s (HMC) bad loans last year to two separate entities surfaced in February.

The first loan of S$15 million was given to Health Medical Enterprises, a specialist clinic incubator, while the second loan of S$21.6 million was extended to China-incorporated medical centre Wei Yi Shi Ye, reported to be kept secret by the firm.

The loans led to a net loss of S$40.9 million in the fourth quarter of 2017, up from S$904,000 a year earlier. This also translated into a net loss of S$40.2 million for the whole year. 

But HMC’s President Veronica Chan clarified with investment website Next Insight on March 2 that the loan to Wei Yi Shi Ye is not a secret and was first revealed several years ago.

Healthway also had to make allowances for “doubtful loan receivables” due to operating losses in that business owing to high rental costs, doctors’ salaries and more, Chan added. 

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