In the run-up to the Singapore general elections, up to three public sector doctors may possibly be fielded as new candidates for the ruling party. Dr Janil Puthucheary (KK Hospital) was introduced fairly recently, while presumably Dr Tan Wu Meng (National Cancer Centre) and Dr Abdul Razak (National University Hospital) will get their turn in the spotlight soon. I presume Dr Tan and Dr Razak will get less heated online discussion upon introduction compared to Dr Puthucheary, but that may not be a bad thing.
Posted by admin at 3:15 PM | Labels: doctors, general elections, politics
I have had the opportunity to speak to two of the three on occasion, and they have always struck me as being bright, full of good ideas, eager to help others, and (as far as I can tell) idealistic. It seems a shame to lose good doctors to the political arena, but perhaps they have a different calling and will achieve that higher potential. Certainly the current Education Minister, however many more millions he may have made each year as a private breast surgeon (although the gap seems to be closing), did not command the level of respect and authority then that he does now. And he would have had neither those millions nor the authority had he remained as a general surgeon in our public sector hospitals.
Browsing through the blog posts on this site as well as the many comments, one might come away with the impression that most doctors led privileged lives and blame the system or their patients (but hardly ever themselves) when things don't go right. And they complain about their earnings despite the vast majority being above the 80th centile in terms of income. The public can hardly be blamed for thinking that the SMC is opaque and doctors flock together to protect their own (irrespective of whether an actual wrong had been committed) when so many distinguished names in the medical community appeared to have stepped forward to protect Dr Susan Lim (the Director of NCC, one of the most respected and brilliant surgeons in the country, issued an explanation but it was undoubtedly too late). It must seem to many that our doctors "just don't get it".
Let's hope that these young doctors entering politics will help to give the medical community a better reputation, if only by proxy, at least locally.