Category Miscellaneous Thoughts

The training of young doctors

I spent a better part of Saturday with the NUHS residents across different specialties. A duty and privilege to share perspectives and learn from each other. Many of us in the private sector acquire so much of our skills and knowledge whilst in the public sector and only right we ‘pay it forward’. I must […]


The MediShield Life Review Committee’s final report and recommendations dominated the headlines over the weekend. This was perhaps not wholly unexpected as these are the most major reforms to Singapore’s healthcare system since Medisave in the early 1980s. Various online commentators including Bertha Henson and Leong Sze Hian have offered their interpretations while the mainstream […]

Public-Private Partnerships in Healthcare- ‘Jom Mama’ in Malaysia

I was encouraged to see that just across the Causeway in neighboring Malaysia, public-private partnerships to tackle disease are taking off and one good example is the one between the Malaysian Ministry of Health and Novo Nordisk with partners. There will always be skeptics and credit to the Malaysian officials for disregarding the inertia and […]

Colon Cancer Screening: Colon vs. Colon

There is a new campaign to raise awareness of colon cancer screening. Badly needed in my mind as colon cancer screening rates are appallingly low. Minister Gan Kim Yong, responding to a question in Parliament last week provided the following statistics: In the National Health Survey 2010, among Singaporeans aged 40 to 69 years, 71% […]

Launch of ‘Myth or Magic: The Singapore Healthcare System’

The book ‘Myth or Magic: The Singapore Healthcare System’ will be launched officially on 5 Oct 2013, 2.30 pm at the Arts House (Old Parliament House). We have brought together an eclectic panel to discuss the future of Singapore healthcare. Our panelists include prominent blogger Alex Au, professor of public policy Tikki Pang from the […]

Singapore Medical Council Elections- Do they matter?

I’ve voted in the Singapore Medical Council (SMC) 2013 elections as required under Section 6 of the Medical Registration Act (Cap. 174) – “Failure to vote without a valid reason will result in a penalty which is a fine of $500”. I have better ways to spend $500 than to hand the money to the […]

“Myth or Magic: The Singapore Healthcare System”- Out next month!

It has been more than 8 months of plowing through old government reports, parliamentary speeches, newspaper articles and speaking to many, many people in Singapore and internationally about the Singapore health system, and quiet days of reflection. And this is 8 months built on almost two decades of working in and working on the Singapore system. Well, one […]

Are Singaporeans being set up for disappointment?

“More help for pioneer generation soon: Tharman”, “A new social compact between the people and the government will also have to be forged”… The traditional build up to the National Day Rally (scheduled this year for 18 Aug 2013) seems to be in overdrive this year. I am worried. Looking at a couple of letters […]

Aftermath of the Susan Lim Case: Thoughts on charging a “fair and reasonable fee”

“It is therefore clear, in our view, that every doctor is under an ethical obligation to charge a fair and reasonable fee for services rendered to his or her patient. The corollary of this is that overcharging would constitute an abuse of the trust and confidence placed by a patient in his or her doctor, […]

What Public Health can learn from David Ogilvy

Much of public health is about communicating and communicating EFFECTIVELY (!). Sadly, it is this area which is typically weak in public health agencies dealing with information dissemination and behavioral modification. How can we as public health professionals compete for mind share amidst all the ‘noise’ out there and get our messages not only heard but acted […]